Hironori Kiyoshima

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Hironori Kiyoshima

Japan

Hironori (Hiro) Kiyoshima is a figurative sculptor based in Kumamoto, Japan. He has extensive formal training, including an MFA; and he is an art professor of Sojo University. From this relatively quiet part of the world, from within the nondescript studio building where he works, Hiro creates supremely vivid work. The vitality that radiates from his figures flows from a style that deftly subsumes some of the great masters of both western and Japanese sculpture—easily avoiding the pitfalls of ironic appropriation or homage—while maintaining a perspective that is thoroughly contemporary.
It is passion more than anything that animates Hiro’s work. His obvious technical proficiency and ability to intertwine artistic styles from disparate eras and regions captures the eye of the beholder, but it is the work’s passion that captures all the rest. The visceral, lasting impression produced by his art may be its most distinctive feature.
Initially, Hiro composes all of his pieces from clay, then he casts them in either bronze or resin. To the latter he applies acrylic paint. He has embraced sculpture’s essential power as an art form—it’s three-dimensionality and ability to capture mass and movement—as a means for exploring human emotion, or broadly speaking, the “human condition.”
“When people are suffering, they express their pain and sometimes the deepest parts of themselves,” says Hiro. “I am especially interested in vulnerable people—what their lives are like, what they’re feeling at certain moments. At times this makes my work seem tortured, but more than anything, I try to make sculpture with strong individuality.”
Hiro cites Rodin as a major influence, because of his emphasis on individual character, as revealed through physical features. Hiro’s work is also influenced by Haniwa, an ancient form of Japanese sculpture (3rd to 6th century AD). Haniwa was composed primarily of terracotta warrior figures, made for ritual use and buried with the dead or arranged around gravesites, to protect the deceased in the afterlife.
Time and again we see in Hiro Kawabata’s sculpture how technique and a deep understanding of art history are synthesized inventively, and transformed into vehicles for conveying emotion, humanity, turmoil—the whole gamut of life, death, and beyond.
In his new show, Hiro shows to the world that “Life and death” of human beings through the postures of Nijinsky. Nijinsky was a famous legendary Russian dancer. But his working life was only few years. Because of his mental condition deteriorated. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1919 and committed to a mental asylum. For the next 30 years he was in and out of institutions, never dancing in public again. Hiro try to pursue the madness behind his talent. Hiro believes that “The candle is brightest before it goes out ” He shows us how the life goes on in case of Nijinsky this time.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.