Hiro Kurata is a painter who was born in Japan in 1980. He grew up in both Japan and the U.S. Hiro has resided in New York since 1999, when he entered Parsons School of Design to earn a BFA. He is currently working and learning at sculptor Forrest Myers’s studio.
HIRO KURATA: I work from my studio in Brooklyn, where I also live. I am actually in my process of separating the work and to-live space to get more accents in the daily cycle.
FYD: What is your favorite or most required work tool?
HK: Anything that would lead me to make a creative atmosphere. For instance music, books, movies, notes, memories; anything I can feel the bond to that would make me want to create something.
Samurai was one metaphorical icon I found that would represent my origin in a mythical way.
FYD: Among people your age or peers living in Japan, how is the art market faring?
HK: From my point of view there are many emerging artists trying hard for their way to out there, which includes myself. We are living in an unstable era, where people are not sure of where the whole world is going and so many people need to create art. The process and consequences of making art is to heal one’s heart; but the interesting but crucial part of this is that not everyone is able to continue creating art. Artists have to make money in order to survive which makes us very serious about this game. I feel like anywhere you are, you have to deal with similar issues, space, time and money.
HK: Overground punk rock music, skate culture, hiphop culture, animation, comics, motorcycle, street art, etc.
FYD: Your work is extremely intricate and picks up a surrealist quality. Can you describe your process?
HK: I am interested in new things and new ideas. I think surrealism is a way of collaging old ideas into a different order to make a new format. I guess I tend to be very detail oriented, maybe because of my roots? I don’t know. Never thought of being so, it is a natural habit.
People are not sure of where the whole world is going and so many people need to create art.
FYD: You live in Brooklyn. Have you ever been to a Yankees or Mets game?
FYD: You’ve only been to one baseball game. You must at least have a curiosity about the game, something about baseball must resonate with you.
HK: This is a hard question for me to answer, because I can not quite nail down which essence in the game of baseball really fascinates me. I am obsessed with portraying this baseball figure and I don’t know why. Maybe the poster of Andre Dawson (Chicago Cubs 1987-92) I had on my wall, still seduces me to portray my own surrealistic slugger.
FYD: Should a baseball player fight a samurai, who wins?
HK: Neither of them; they will never fight. The picture is just a metaphor of my struggle between the bi-cultural background.
Artists have to make money in order to survive which makes us very serious about this game.
FYD: What is your bi-cultural background comprised of? Any other metaphors that help your struggle?
HK: I was born in Japan and raised in U.S for few years. I was considered as an Asian kid in the U.S and an Americanized kid in Japan. The more I live abroad, the more I search for my origins and samurai was one metaphorical icon I found that would represent my origin in a mythical way.
FYD: What are you working on this summer?
HK: New life, new vision. I am planning to move out from this studio apartment where I lived for four years and move on to find a better environment.