Interview: Masaki Hirokawa | ITSLIQUID

Interview: Masaki Hirokawa

Interviews | October 23, 2022 |

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

Interview: Masaki Hirokawa
Luca Curci talks with Masaki Hirokawa, among the honourable mentions of the ITSLIQUID International Contest 12th Edition.

Masaki Hirokawa is a Japanese graphic artist, who produces artworks that focus mainly on the photo collage. He has done exhibitions around the world and won numerous international design awards. He contributes his artwork to art annuals and speciality graphic magazines around the world. Masaki Hirokawa’s wide range of activities includes graphic design, smartphone app development, interactive movie production, and website development. They also write technical articles on graphic design for graphic design magazines and reference books. He was awarded the “ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2021” by ITSLIQUID Group in 2022.

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Masaki Hirokawa –
Since the end of last year, I have been blessed with many precious opportunities to exhibit and launch projects outside of Japan. I receive each such occasion with deep gratitude and have thrown myself fully into every opportunity. I have also dedicated the past 10 years without rest to my smartphone app business, striving to improve the quality of my services. And in recent years, I have achieved major innovations in my marketing, promotional activities, and the methodologies of my UI/UX designs and system designs. Thanks to the accumulation of small, daily achievements, I have been able to build the bases of my business in the Asian, European, and South American markets into a solid foundation, and now, I am in the midst of making a shift toward fulfilling my long-held dreams of expanding into the North American market. The experiences I have gained in developing such skills as parallel task processing and data analyzing abilities across multidisciplinary fronts have naturally benefited my work in graphic art as well, with my newly produced artworks having accomplished even more beautiful structures, achieving shapes and forms containing nesting layers of multiple dimensions.

LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
MH –
Since the era before the network infrastructure in Japan was established 25 years ago, I had been involved in various areas in taking on the challenges of digital expression. The hardware was much less developed than it is today, and since the software was not being circulated adequately, I remember that I had to resort to my own ingenuity, either by building the tools necessary for creative expression from scratch or expanding existing functions beyond their original specifications. There were also limitations on network data volumes and transfer speeds, which meant that not only was it necessary to be able to stream image and video content smoothly under those conditions, we had to constantly go through trial and error processes in order to find innovative, new ways to express ourselves. Ever since my teenage years, I tended toward an interest in perpetual motion machines, and through producing interactive movies, I learned about system designs that could give birth to artificial life; through developing games, I learned about the mechanisms of artificial intelligence; and through developing apps, I was able to probe into the universal unconsciousness of the mass populace. I stared at screens from morning to night, and I feel as if I had spent some 20-odd years seeing the outside world from a bird’s eye view. However, having come to know and understand the cravings and sufferings for love, which form the basis of humanity, beginning at the end of 2019, I began producing graphic art. However, what was puzzling to me was that “it was not that I wanted to know about humanity,” but rather that it was as if “there was something that wanted to know about humanity.” This “something” may have been a presence that used the bodies of humans as a vessel through which it could observe the way of human hearts and souls. I suspect that for most creators, any attempt to adequately describe, in written and spoken words, their impetus for creation and the journey they traversed to achieve their art, would most likely result in failure. “Incomprehensible” is probably the only way to express it.

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
MH –
For every sensation of joy and pleasure I gain from having completed an artwork, I gain an equal sense of release from the pain and suffering which resulted from that creation. I then view my work from afar, with the feeling of a great weight having been lifted from my shoulders. It is, at once, both a blessing, as well as something which originated and left from my hands, so all I can do is gaze at it, transfixed. Consequently, I gain knowledge of an aspect of this world, and thus, I gain knowledge of the psychological state of the mass populace.

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

LC – How is your creative process?
MH –
For myself, creative activity is the goal of my life, a method of survival, as well as the meaning for which I was born, and beyond that, I possess nothing. To those who graced me with these blessings-my God, my mother and father, and my ancestors-I give thanks. To be truthful, there were many times when I felt that life was an ordeal. However, even during times when I forgot about the gifts I had received and ran away in desperation, I could never bring myself to destroy my precious equipment.

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
MH –
My yearnings for God transitioned to a fascination with multidimensional science, and there was a period during which I wandered from the milieu of superstring theory (a hypothesis of physical science) to the mysterious universe of quantum mechanics. However, I felt that the surrealist paintings of a bygone era possessed more eloquence toward such questions. Through my own methods, I was able to express the enigmatic world of mystery and extra dimensions, and I would like to put into words the process of achieving that creative expression, thoroughly and comprehensively. In other words, I am in search of a formula that can express such extremely obscure and vague elements as “God” or “love.” But the fact is that I wanted to play with God, and began making things, simply because I was lonely …

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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa
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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa
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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa
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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa
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Image Courtesy of Masaki Hirokawa

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