"Koya" by Hirofumi Takemoto

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"Koya", 2019

Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 25"2/3 x 1"D (91 x 65,2 x 2.6 cm)

Hirofumi Takemoto is a Japanese artist who captures in his work the immense diversity and vibrancy of Japanese culture.  

Takemoto creates images inspired by Kitagawa Utamaro’s large-headed pictures of female beauties. Utamaro was one of the most important designers of Ukiyo-e (a genre of Japanese art very popular from the 17th to the 19th century, which means “pictures of the floating world”.  Utamaro’s drawings of women were based in real prostitutes and socially oppressed women.  Based on that, Takemoto re-creates pictures of beautiful women using Western painting techniques. 

He studied Western art at Osaka University of Arts, but is also influenced by various other artists and perspectives. 

Takemoto finds inspiration in the works of many contemporary professionals, such as, photographers August Sandre and Edward Steichen, film directors Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini, the stage director Shuji Terayama, cultural anthropologist Masao Yamaguchi, novelist Kenzaburo Oe, Dostoyevsky and even Seiji Ozawa. 

His inspiration also comes from the old masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Jan van Eyck and Antony Gormley.  In hie world vision, Takemoto aims to create works that will trigger richness through sheer diversity.