Interview: Masaki Hirokawa
Luca Curci talks with Masaki Hirokawa during THE BODY LANGUAGE 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Born in Toyama, Japan in 1981. In 1997, at the age of 16, I Started web design and programming self-study. Then I went to Tokyo to work as a web designer/DTP operator in 1999. I got involved in the development of mission-critical systems as a system engineer/programmer in 2002 at the age of 21. Switched to working as a freelancer, working on web design, programming, graphic design and producing interactive movies in 2005. The next year I won the Grand Prize for the MTV SO-ZO Competition “Web Screensaver Category”. I authored multiple reference books while submitting works to graphic design magazines during 2008. In 2011 I got involved in the development of multiple video games as a technical artist. Went independent to start a smartphone app business in 2013. Developed an app that was eventually downloaded more than 20 million times and is still being used by more than 3 million users worldwide. I returned to creating graphic design, participating in exhibitions in Italy, Spain, the UK, Greece and more in 2019.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Masaki Hirokawa – In my case, art is a medium for communication without words. It overflows with emotions which cannot be expressed in words. In other words, I see it as nothing more than excess waste products. I have been creating art since my teens. Much of my inspiration comes from the external environment, while the rest comes from deep within, spewing upward. In both cases, my physical body is a tool in a higher dimension and a pathway of energy, no more than a catalyst. There is no room for my personal thoughts or feelings in the creative process. However, due to the repetitive, experimental process of instilling personal thoughts and feelings in my creative work, I believe that there is meaning in having a physical body as a human being.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MH – Up to now, I have created mostly photo collages focusing on people. However, I am now refining a plan to use subjects other than people. For example, landscapes, flowers, animals and other living creatures, and desolate objects such as architectural ruins. I want to create works having a freer and wider perspective.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
MH – Since I won the ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2021 award, I feel fresh, like standing at the starting line as an artist. In November of 2019, I started making photo collages again for the first time in about 10 years. Before that, I made some artistic work when I had time while working as a game developer or app developer, etc. I will be creating many more works with a wider freedom of expression. I hope the resulting works will make more people feel at least a little more happy.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
MH – In my work, inspiration first brings the final image to my mind. Therefore, it may be difficult for me to quickly reflect on visitors’ suggestions in my work. However, while creating the work, I might remember those suggestions and naturally incorporate them little by little. Whether people’s suggestions are good or bad, they will help me grow as a person and greatly improve the level of perfection of my work.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
MH – I intuitively select my subjects which are wrapped by a white, transparent light. It’s almost like dowsing, where my hands move on their own without me thinking about it. Of course, there are times when being intuitive does not work. Even so, it’s part of my practical training and I always finish the work.
LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
MH – Long before humans had language, they used body language to communicate. As I walked around the streets, I absorbed the swell of diverse emotions flowing from my surroundings. I then reflected those thoughts into my works. In other words, the information I absorb with my body is directly transferred to my works. Even the intense, big emotions that cannot be expressed in words are imprinted directly into my images. For this exhibition, the images are instilled with “prayer.” I made all these images while praying for the world to be tranquil and for people around the world to be happy. I selected the images that contained the purest prayers.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the exhibition’s theme?
MH – As with many of the artists, my images were also created through body language. My role was to incorporate in the images the surge of diverse emotions received by my body. Thankfully, my role is no more than to dance in front of the gods. The only thing I can leave behind in this world is “my shadow.” I think that beyond the work itself, in the creation step or body language process, the value is in the energy that disperses out into outer space.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MH – Yes, when I saw the landscape around the exhibition venue, I really wanted to go there. Also, the works of the other artists who are also exhibiting are all very interesting. I am really grateful for this chance to exhibit my work in such a place.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
MH – Yes, I would strongly recommend my artist friends to collaborate wth you. You did a great job, it was top-notch. Wonderful service.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
MH – I don’t think the art business in Japan is protected very well by the government. In such a world, it is indeed a noble deed to devote yourself to the art business to enrich people’s hearts. Since the business of making people happy around the world will grow further, I sincerely hope your company will continue to grow as a beacon of hope.