Kenji Hirata is a New York based painter from Nagasaki, Japan. In his paintings, he incorporates water, fire, metal, wood, and soil, fusing a complex narrative out of the five elements. Hirata moves confidently between compositions of layered density and vast areas of open fields and clean forms. In his words, his work “attempts to reveal something deep within the spirit of things.” He is guided by the Buddhist idea that emptiness is everything eternal. His work engages in the world and attempts to reveal something deep within the spirit of things. Hirata’s personal message is that creativity is essential for a bright future and much needed in times of great concern.
Strongly inspired by nature, his work also has strong reference to the vibrancy of Jamaican dance hall sound systems, the billboards and hand painted signage of Southeast Asia, the sci-fi futurism and structure of H.R. Geiger, Phase2, Doze, Skwerm, Mike Ming, and the Barnstormers crew. Hirata’s message is that “creativity is essential for a bright future and much needed in times of great concern.” As an original member of the Barnstomers, Hirata has created large-scale public mural paintings in New York, Miami, Tokyo, and the rural town of Cameron, NC, where the artist collective was founded.
Hirata is an artist who creates work in an impressive variety of situations, from huge colorful public murals, to more personal paintings, from animated works for film to illustrations for books. Both his solo and collaborative works have demonstrated Hirata to be a well respected, innovative, and important member of the New York art and film communities. (bio)