Hiroaki ONUMA

Born in Japan, lives and works in Amsterdam.

His paintings commonly depict colorful anthropomorphic creatures : part human, part animal, part monster. His work is an ongoing research into the specific notion of “the monster”. What is the relation between man, animal and monster? And is the monster not perhaps born in the overlapping space between the two? these questions are central to Hiroaki’s practice.

The often colorful depictions contain a sense of the celebratory and joyfulness, but can simultaneously be symbols for deeper or darker issues. “Yocai” are prevalent figures in Japanese folklore and are described as “a class of supernatural monsters, ghosts, spirits, and demons.” Ranging in nature from mischievous to wholesome, and at times even evil, the Yokai are nearly always depicted showcasing some sort of human behavior.

it is said that Yokai appear more prominently in times of worldly despair and disaster. Much like the Japanese Yokai, the monstrous nature of Hiroaki’s creatures is symptomatic of dire times. However, they are monsters in a world of technicolor, significantly appropriated to contemporary times and society. They appear joyous in brilliant shades and tones, strangely reminding us of the hyper-stimulating, commercial imagery surrounding us. At times they partly partake or dissolve into it, simultaneously emerging out of and being swallowed up by Hiroaki’s world.

 

Three Birds With Friends, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 80 cm
Three Birds With Friends, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 80 cm
Surprised Monster, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
Surprised Monster, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
Animals In Orange, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm
Animals In Orange, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm
We Are Always Together, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm
We Are Always Together, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 150 x 150 cm
Let's Go To New World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 90 cm
Let’s Go To New World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 90 cm
Pray For The Gods,2020, acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Pray For The Gods,2020, acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Seven Heads Dragon,2020,acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Seven Heads Dragon,2020,acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Kamehameha Dragon,2020, acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Kamehameha Dragon,2020, acrylic on canvas,150 x 170 cm
Yelow World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120 cm
Yelow World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120 cm
Blue World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120 cm
Blue World, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 120 cm
How Are You?, 2019, oil and spraypaint on canvas, 90 x 140 cm
How Are You?, 2019, oil and spraypaint on canvas, 90 x 140 cm
Two Dogs And Rabbit, 2017, oil on canvas, 150 x 170 cm
Two Dogs And Rabbit, 2017, oil on canvas, 150 x 170 cm
Inflatable Triceratops, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 90 cm
Inflatable Triceratops, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 90 cm
Sick Pickatchu, acrylic on paper, 39 x 29cm
Sick Pickatchu, acrylic on paper, 39 x 29cm
Blue Croc, 2020, oil on paper, 39 x 29 cm
Blue Croc, 2020, oil on paper, 39 x 29 cm