Interview: Akane Hiraoka
Luca Curci talks with Akane Hiraoka during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at THE ROOM – Contemporary Art Space.
“What you see is the materialization of your conception of the world. Reality only exists when it is observed, and, therefore, when there is no observer, there is no reality. The digital world has come to play a much more integral mediating role in the way we see each other and ourselves. Not only will it shape our view of the world, but through digital bio enhancements, alterations to our physical bodies will generate new forms of interactions. The mind linked to a computer chip can become a powerful tool but exploring what makes us human will become ever more pressing to artists and thinkers. How we, from our electronic realm, relate to our primordial ancestors at the root of humanity’s multi-layered narrative is a question that will continue to drive my work.”
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Akane Hiraoka – My background lies in motion graphics, in a well-known video games company to be precise. I developed my skills in the commercial world, working on client briefs, but I always had a love for abstract and modernist art. I was a frequent visitor to art galleries and I used to create my own multi-textured abstract paintings by combining different materials. I also had a passion for travel, discovering cultures and mythologies, which has always raised questions in my mind about humanity’s common pathways. Becoming more adept in using digital tools allowed me greater scope to explore these themes within a futurist setting.
LC – What are you currently working on?
AH – At the moment I am exploring the concept of multiverses. I have always been fascinated by ancient history, but how does history work from a multi-linear perspective? Isn’t it mind-boggling to think that there are other versions of yourself existing in other branches of reality at this very moment in time? I’m captivated by the idea of taking a still image of your life, and then aggregating more and more snap-shots of your life. As you put more images together you might begin to approximate the results achieved in the famous double-slit physics experiment, where bizarrely, particles formed wave-like patterns rather than the expected linear demarcations. How can we, as artists, get away from depicting our own lives as a series of randomized linear demarcations? Of course, I don’t know yet, but it is definitely something I am paying a lot of consideration to.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
AH – Pushing myself away from the boundaries of what is familiar to me to explore new concepts and ways of expressing ideas. It is so important as an artist, and yet at the same time, daunting too. The familiar can be comforting, so it’s easy to fall back on what you know. But stretching yourself artistically is vital to your own development, even if there is a risk of failure attached to this.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it your medium of expression?
AH – There are themes running through a lot of my work, like myth-building, futurism, the relationship between man and technology. Expressing myself through art is just a part of my life. It’s a way of contemplating and exploring ideas.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
AH – Nice feeling. Although I always ponder when to call it finished. There is always an element of doubt that lingers on and leads me to question whether it could have been better realized in a different way, or whether another approach might have been more suitable. It’s all part of the creative process as It usually spurs me on to create another piece, and then another, and so on.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
AH – Interesting to know that canvas painting was invented in Italy. It’s curious because our medium for artistic expression has constantly evolved throughout history. Our far distant ancestors used caves as their canvas to depict the natural world which they depended upon. The impact those images had were vital to forging their communities, and a shared culture.
Nowadays we use videos, digital printing, the streets and buildings that surround us, there are so many possibilities. For me, this leads to the question of how our canvases will continue to influence the development of our communities in the future.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
AH – Well, ‘Narcissus’ is obviously related to Greek mythology, the story of an attractive young man blinded with ego and self-adoration. In my work, I try to depict the grotesqueness of this situation from a futurist’s perspective. A serene Narcissus is blinded by convoluted disfigurements, reflecting the twisted nature of his soul. These mythological tales have been a vital part of humanity’s development, but I believe that they will be just as relevant in humanity’s future. The question is, in what way? How will we relate to them?
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AH – Yes, very much so. I haven’t had much experience exhibiting art, but your organizers made it feel very straightforward, which I’m sure in reality it isn’t! The communication process was great from start to finish as you were so approachable.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
AH – I totally loved the settings, which were beautiful and well located. There are some really inspiring artists and works on show. It’s an event that really deserves the widest possible exposure as there is definitely something for everyone. Even though I am new to all this, I felt relaxed at every stage of the event.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
AH – ITSLIQUID runs many exhibitions throughout the year all over the world, yet they are far from corporate, rather super friendly, and easy to reach out to. They definitely have a personal touch and that’s probably why there is such a great group of artists working with them.