Hiramatsu, too, is creating a visionary, new, outsider-like world in which nature, the history of painting, and reflections of the human psyche merge. The artist, born in 1986 in Wakayama, Japan, works with oil paint on paper, which is mounted onto wooden boards. This setup makes even the smallest gesture stand out. After studying art in Tokyo and focusing on drawing, Hiramatsu attended the art academy of Karlsruhe to study with Marcel van Eeden from 2016 to 2019. In his artistic work, painting and drawing develop organically, they become mutually dependent. His semi-abstract paintings, from which protruding eyes and uncanny, comic, or tragic creatures gaze back at the spectator, are “narrative” only at first glance.
Actually, they reflect the process, the concrete, factual quality of a painting, that always presents itself as an object with sculptural qualities, too. Hiramatsu questions the notion that a painting is “only an image,” a fiction of sorts, at the mercy of the spectator’s imagination. Not unlike the oeuvre of the Belgian poet and painter Walter Swennen, whom Hiramatsu cites as an important influence, it is not about developing a storyline, a recognizable style, or a painterly routine. Quite to the contrary: it is all about remaining sensitive to that which happens on the canvas, continually responding to painterly challenges, and experimentally scrutinizing the relations between signs, meanings, legibility, and the handling of issues of image and representation. Hiramatsu’s fragmented, unstable “creatures” are never planned beforehand, they materialize only in the process of painting. They formally react to the abstract base layer of each painting and spawn associative images and unconscious emotions alike, which paradoxically become “real” and true by being pure painting. Hiramatsu himself states: “I believe that paintings are a medium of trust, and it seems to me that in the act of viewing them, frequently a lie may little by little become a truth.”
Text: Oliver Koerner von Gustorf
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