About Hisashi Otsuka

Hisashi Otsuka is widely known for Oriental motif painting and kimono fabric design. Otsuka was born in the year of 1947 into a most creative family. His natural artistic talents were encouraged and eventually developed formally in apprenticeship to one of Japan’s foremost designers of kimonos, Taeko Jo.

In addition to rigorous self-discipline and dedication, his Bushido training also encouraged fierce independence and aesthetic sensitivity. Exceptionally strong social and spiritual pressures compel today’s Japanese artists to conform to the designs, styles, and colors of the past. This was not the case with Otsuka who found this pressure stifling. His own aesthetic, being more inventive, as he sought to design new compositions, these larger works, possessed brighter colors. With this unique style, he was able to communicate the vitality, along with the exceptional excitement, of his own soul.

Otsuka brought to the West all the gifts Japan and its culture can bestow on an artist, in return, the West gave him the opportunity to express himself freely and rewarded his expression by its “grateful acceptance” of his work, as witnessed by the large and growing number of his collectors. The Western world has good reason to be grateful. Except to those few who have a special affinity for Japanese cultural values, or who have trained themselves to appreciate them, the understated colors and static forms of Japanese art have always seemed remote and unexciting to western collectors. The art which excites us most is the art that is unsettling, thus, a fresh approach, a different perspective, an unusual arrangement of forms or ideas or symbols, bold expressive use of color, excites us into somewhat newer perception or insight. Otsuka does this in droves. Most westerners know the traditional designs, colors, styles, and forms of classic ukiyo-e. Few are moved by them. In Otsuka we find them in large compositions with unusual kimono designs, flowing hair, bright colors, movement, and grace. These all appeal to us. And as we enjoy Otsuka’s individual and unique paintings and prints for themselves, they move us in a gradual manner bring us to a greater appreciation and understanding of the older forms and cultural values of Japan.

Browse Hisashi Otsuka Creative Works

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