2019.07.20. Sat – 08.04. Sun
12:00 – 19:00
Closed on Sunday, Monday
except on last Sunday
19:00 – 22:00
Catching insects and nibbling on snacks, I spent summer vacation in my neighbourhood.
A little agitated by a hectic society’s sinister atmosphere,
I’m busy with my own endless summer science projects day in and day out.
My mind is filled with images of soil, sand, cement, starch, volcanic ash, spray, spark and explosion, fine particles drifting in the air and scattering imagery, and so on.
The theme of my projects is unclear and elusive, but it is at least clear that I’m trying to capture the particles of scenes that do exist out there.
It is just like getting moved with the humorous banality of artificial green leaves that decorate lunchboxes in convenience stores.
Let’s get started with the bricolage of things just sitting around. Set out further away as far as possible, while my body is still seated here.
The characters that dwell in Hiraparr Wilson’s paintings have, to borrow the artist’s own words, an “innocent expression” and seem to be enjoying their lives freely unconcerned with finding out much about the state of things in our reality. The flowers and insects in his work have a gentle and friendly air, and something in them is alike us.
For Willson, born and raised in Tokyo, his characters are equivalent to us human beings, taking part in the wheel of life (and death) while mediating the overwhelming amount of artificial things present in urban life and the even greater cycles of surrounding nature.
The characters can also be seen as symbolizing city people whose everyday landscape is defined by things such as concrete, display screens and the internet, suggesting their fundamental drive and admiration for nature and greens. Both of these perspectives equally inspire the artist.
The harmony and complementarity between man and nature is not a new concept, and the idea is found in Japan since antiquity (or so understood through interpretations by Western people).
On the other hand, Willison spent his childhood and adolescence near Yokota Air Base, which made him familiar with American pop characters and hip-hop music.
As a child he got into a character called POGMAN, which he came across in American “menko” cards [cards to play by hitting one to another]. Although Willson’s drawing line is far looser than that of the characters he cherished, the anthropomorphism in many of the animals and plants in his work can be said to be rooted in those characters.
Needless to say, sampling is a significant technique developed during the dawn of hip-hop music, and in some of the new works for this exhibition, Willson uses this technique not only with the expressions of his brushstrokes but also with the shapes he finds in ordinary objects. His interest in mythology and anthropology since his school days, as well as bricolage methods, have had a significant influence in him.
Willson’s work may look random and uncontrolled, but it actually adventures on the bold bricolage of his own personal tastes and experiences, mixed with the adoration for unattainable beings beyond human intelligence.
The sun glares out, mind gets stunned, and summer comes in full swing! Please join the exhibition to enjoy the fruits of Hiraparr Willson’s free-wheeling summer science projects.
Born in Tokyo. Graduated from Tama Art University’s Art Studies Department, Hiraparr Willson works on the artworks of musicians including Omoide Yaro A-Team, CATBOYS, Yakenohara, BTB Tokko, while he contributes illustration graphics to T by GASBOOK, a T-shirt label by GAS AS INTERFACE, and Shanghai-based fashion brand SIRLOIN. His also organizes events such as “MARA AIR,” Koheisai Kawamura’s solo shadow-picture exhibition and “MEMOLEEM,” a theater piece featuring musician Yousuke Fujimoto and BOREDOMS’s EYヨ, expanding his activity in alternative fields by constantly crossing genres. Willson held solo shows at OVER THE BORDER in Ebisu, Tokyo, in 2017 and at Speedy Grandma gallery in Thailand in 2018, while participating in group shows in Japan and overseas.