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.