INTERVIEW with Masaki Hirokawa
Carmela Loiacono talks with Masaki Hirokawa, who participated during three exhibitions of RenovArt | 100 Artists for the Future in Matera at Spazio Opera Gallery and at Lega Navale Italiana with his works: "A Regenerated World", "The Justice of Equality", "Kuan Yin Bodhisattva", "Karma", "Avatar" and "Distance"

I received the honor of being interviewed by Carmela Loiacono, an art historian who runs RenovArt | 100 Artists for the Future, an exhibition organized by ApuliaAste. RenovArt is a curation project dedicated to the world's greatest artistic talents, and as evidence of their commitment to regenerating and promoting artists, it is organized with the objective of developing and expanding modern art, as well as to elevate knowledge about this genre and style.
Matera is a place in Italy that is teeming with a pure spirit, and it is where I was invited to open a private exhibition of my artwork this year. I am deeply grateful for having met many people who were not only able to comprehend the unseen colors and invisible light within my artwork as a common phenomena, but who could also deeply experience and understand the spirit and heart embedded within them.
I began my path to creativity from loss, and have dedicated everything, exclusively, to that pursuit. I possess nothing more. To leave an insignificant perspective of my observations of this time period we live in, for the sake of the tiny lives which grow and develop by the day, is the only thing I am capable of doing, and it is my one and only hope.

ApuliaAste 主催、RenovArt | 100 Artists for the Future展を手掛ける美術史家、Carmela Loiacono氏よりインタビューいただきました。RenovArt は世界最高の芸術的才能に捧げるキュレーションプロジェクトで、アーティストの再生と奨励の証として、現代美術の発展および知識向上を目的とし開催されました。
- Could you introduce yourself and your art, please?
Both of my grandfathers were miya-daiku (shrine carpenters), who were hired to build shrines and temples. My mother was blessed with an artistic bloodline. Having grown up with the adoring love of my grandparents, I first began designing on the night of my grandfather's wake, when I was 16 years old. Ever since then, over the course of 25 years, I have remained steadfastly on this path.
Both of my grandfathers were miya-daiku (shrine carpenters), who were hired to build shrines and temples. My mother was blessed with an artistic bloodline. Having grown up with the adoring love of my grandparents, I first began designing on the night of my grandfather's wake, when I was 16 years old. Ever since then, over the course of 25 years, I have remained steadfastly on this path.
My reasons for choosing this family as my home reside in the two themes of my soul—"the harmony of reciprocal entities which, at first glance, are in conflict," and "the coalescence of all attributes and senses of values"—as well as the concepts of "equality" and "indiscrimination," which are often mentioned as the theses of my artwork.
Now, however, having learned so much from "multipolarization," which lies beyond the trials and ordeals produced by polarity, what I can raise as new themes are seamless transitions between multiple dimensions, the interspersion and scattering of the consciousness, and the completely indiscriminate heart of love.
Into this world are born many Buddhas and Gautamas, and while it is a tumultuous age we live in, I feel blessed to have been born in such a time filled with many teachers and learnings.
In the process of my life, there is artwork, and in the process of creating art, there exists a microcosm of life. One method of intuitively receiving the signals of the soul is to create, and each and every occurrence of fate or chance that is generated by such creation is, to me, a beloved treasure.
- I know that you have a range of activities includes graphic design, smartphone app development, interactive movie production, and website development, and writer for magazines and reference books. Please, let us know how you combine all these activities with your art?
Since the age of 21, I have been involved in the development of core systems as a system engineer, and even now, I have continued with my personal business in developing smartphone apps— an industry that does not allow for errors or failures— for 10 years now. No matter how hard I try to do precise and accurate work, approximately 0.05% of users will be affected by system  crashes, and in that meager and insignificant number, I experience the unmistakable distance that exists between the truth and humanity, and am constantly afflicted by feelings of shame and disgrace.
The cumulative file size of a graphic artwork is comparable to that of a short film, a work of construction and management spanning several hundred layers. The regulations and classifications which govern the naming of each layer conform to the structuralization methods learned from my experience in system development, and at times, I may utilize software bugs to expand some features (in programming language, these are called "hacks," while at other times, they may also be called forms of "black magic").
Moreover, as a matter of courtesy or manners toward the photographer or model, I use the method of non-destructive processing or editing, which retains the original content in its entirety. Consequently, it leads me to executing so many perplexing, puzzle piece-like minute adjustments that I start forget if I'm coming or going. The possibility of reversing any edit is a true benefit of digital media, but it is at the same time a drawback as well. I decided to use this as an advantage instead, and chose a style of remaining resolutely stupid throughout the process. I am confident that I can make things even more extremely complicated.
Inherently, my nature is completely the opposite of the logical, strictly regulated and disciplined style mentioned earlier. For these past 25 years, I have lived a lifestyle that was severely bound and restrained. However, in the process of taking detours, I have met with many benefactors and specialists, each of whom were masters in their particular field and under which I learned. I am who I am today because of them. The theme of my future is to overcome my past, cut the threads which control myself, and find a way to stand upon a new starting line.
- Where do you find inspiration for your works?
I often receive inspiration after visiting a church or shrine. Moreover, I am also visited by fresh images when walking briskly to get something to eat. After completing an artwork, I will gaze upon it objectively, and in that moment, I will understand an aspect of the world, and will comprehend "humanity."
- When is your favorite time of day to create?
I often begin working on a new piece of artwork in the morning, when my tangible consciousness is still half-asleep, accelerate my pace from about noon until evening, and will usually finish it at night before I go to bed. I enjoy working on graphic art at any hour, but late at night, when it is quiet and there is no natural light, is the best time for doing the meticulous work of adjusting colors and tones, and I particularly like working at this time of the day. I also love those moments at daybreak, when the air is fresh and perfectly clear and tranquil.
- Does art help you in other areas of your life?
Precious life experiences become learnings for the self, and those learnings, through the expression of art, become realizations for the soul. My relationships with people have almost always come through the act of creation, and so, my first steps forward as a human were begun last year, at the age of 40. During times of confusion and suffering, art served as the compass of my life, blessed me with many wonderful meetings of chance and fate, and happiness, and thanks to art, I still manage to cling to life in this world. From now on, I hope to continue being involved in artistic expression, so that I may help provide guidance to others who are lost and suffering, just as I was.
- What's the purpose or goal of your work?
I believe that the goal of my artwork is the "purification" of the world. I feel that the goal to which I should aspire, as well as this life of mine, are like the shimmer given off by heat. And I believe that the act of exhausting every last ounce of energy while I live will make my birth a worthwhile endeavor. I will continue to give thanks to each and every day that I breathe, and face the essence of my work, plainly and simply, daily, just as the beat of my heart pulses like clockwork.
- If you think at yourself, where do you see your art going in a couple of years?
Since the end of 2019, I began producing graphic art, managing to scrape along while finding time in between my regular work. The fact is, however, that I have only managed to devote less than two years to producing graphic art, and I am not certain whether I have even finished the mere warmup stage of such a career.
What I am certain of, however, is that both my work and I myself exist as a mirror held up to this world, and within two or three years, should become brighter, and more colorful.
​​​​​​​Even if my artwork will eventually lose their master, I pray, with all of my heart, that the traces of my existence will quietly take root in this earth, and the tiny fragments of myself will soar away to that great, expansive sky.
Featured Artists in ApuliaAste
Established talents and new proposals
ApuliaAste carefully selects the works of emerging artists to be proposed both at auctions and on display in organized events. Among the works produced by emerging artists available, it is possible to remember those of Vittorialessia Brunetti, Cinzia De Vita, Sasha Marie Speer, Danny Germansen, Kristin Vollarth, Ferró, GeeksArt, Leo Viridis, Anna Weichselbaumer, Krisztina Arláth, Masaki Hirokawa, Jiaqi Pan.
- 自己紹介と作品についてお聞かせください。
しかし両極性が齎す試練の先にある “多極化”から沢山のことを学び得た今、新しく課題として挙げられるのは、多次元間のシームレスな移行、意識の点在と散在、そして完全に分け隔てのない慈愛の心です。
- グラフィックデザイン、スマートフォンアプリ開発、インタラクティブムービー制作、ウェブサイト制作、雑誌・書籍の執筆など、幅広い活動をされていますね。これらの活動をどのようにアートと結びつけているのか教えてください。
グラフィック作品の総ファイル容量は短編映画と等しく、数百の層(レイヤー)によって構成・管理がされています。各レイヤーの名付けの規則や分類の仕方は、システム開発から学び得た構造化に則ったもので、ソフトウェアのバグを利用し機能を拡張することもあります(これらはプログラミング用語では “hack”、時に “黒魔術”と呼ばれます)。
- 作品のインスピレーションはどこから得ているのでしょうか?
- 一日のうちで、制作をするのに一番好きな時間はいつですか?
- アートは人生の他の分野でも役立っていますか?
- あなたの作品の目的やゴールは何ですか?
私の作品の目的は世界の “浄化”であるように感じております。目指すべきゴールもこの人生も陽炎のようなもので、命を燃やし尽くしてこそ生まれて来た甲斐があります。これからも一日一日に感謝をしながら、心臓が脈を刻むように、毎日淡々と作業に向き合います。
- 2、3年後にあなたのアートはどこに向かっているのでしょうか?

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