The emerging Japanese artist Kiyo Hasegawa

Please introduce yourself to us!

Born in 1984, I am a Tokyo-based Japanese painter. I received my MFA in Fine Art from Tama Art University in Tokyo. By using traditional Japanese painting materials, my current theme is to depict the landscape of my mind and the nature of its existence. I have held solo exhibitions in Tokyo, Kyoto, Helsinki and London, and have participated in group exhibitions nationally and internationally.


The moon and flowers, 2016, 14×18 cm

When did you start having an interest in art and when did you start discovering your fascination to paint with traditional Japanese techniques?

In my childhood drawing was one of my favorite things. I started painting with color pencils and watercolors in a representational way like everyone else. I have been attracted to the colors and possibilities of traditional Japanese painting materials since I studied how to handle them at the art university. Because the materials are sensitive to temperature and humidity, it demands a skill of artists to use it in optimum conditions. I dedicated myself to learn the skills of traditional Japanese paintings during my university years.

When working on a new project, what are the first steps you take?

I often get inspired from nature sceneries and flowers. I travel or simply buy flowers before I start a new painting.
I do drawing regularly. I also pick up and save images from the Internet that are comfortable to my mind from the Internet. I refer to those drawings and images to get clearer idea of painting. Once the composition is decided, what I follow is my intuition.


Floating in the wind, 2015, 45×91 cm

Can you describe the Japanese artistic scene and how it develops?

There are some differences in the Japanese art scene compared to the Western art scene. There is a domestic market in Japan as well as an international one. Figurative paintings are popular in Japan. Artists get attention by winning awards or having their paintings exhibiting at a well-known museum. You will be able to understand what the art scene in Japan is like, when you visit “Art Fair Tokyo”, the biggest annual art fair in Japan.

Which artists do you admire?

I admire Hashimoto Kansetsu’s painting techniques.
Morris Louis and Lee U-fan’s abstract paintings were a great influence on my works.
I also like the way in which Pierre Bonnard uses colors.


garden, 2017, 18 x 18 cm

Kiyo Hasegawa on Singulart:

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