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"I want to show the twinkle of the spirit and the body in my paintings."

(Hiroyuki Kimura)


The artist Hiroyuki Kimura was born in 1975 in Tokyo. He lives and works in the capital and has just had an exhibition of his work in Germany for the first time.

The theme of his art is the traditional Japanese wrestling - Sumo.

Hiroyuki Kimura is fascinated by sumo and his art represents the sport for us in all its facets. He studied Japanese art at the Tamara Art University and has been painting for 6 years now.

The development of Japanese art has not been influenced by European art and covers a wide range of art styles and media. One artist who has had an influence on Hiroyuki Kimura is Hokusei (1760-1849), a master of the colour woodcut. He created many works of art, among them representations of famous sumo wrestlers of his time. He shows many of the different techniques used by sumo wrestlers during a bout. The huge bodies are often exaggerated and the proportions are not always anatomically correct. People of his time liked the colour woodcuts, which they were able to afford and could use as posters of their favourite wrestlers.

The wrestlers in Hokusei's work often move in an undefined space. They seem to levitate, they don't touch the ground and they don't cast a shadow. This is a phenomenon we can also see in the art of Hiroyuki Kimura.

Kimura-san visits the wrestlers during morning training in their heya and he makes quite a few quick sketches. Back in his studio he finishes them or uses them as models for bigger paintings.

Many of his drawings he does ringside and works on them in many stages of painting and using many different techniques until he achieves the desired result. Most of his work is drawn on paper first and finished with Indian ink, crayon and with pigments dissolved in oil. It's a very fine glazed technique. The colour of the skin shines in a light pink and shows an attractive contrast to the (literally) charcoal-black hair. The athletes appear like dancers, figures in levitation. They get a certain lightness from the use of the chosen colours.

The paintings show the sumo bouts with the techniques and ritualized gestures of the bulky sumo wrestlers who turn their full attention and concentration on the fight, and take no notice of the portraits.

Kimura-san wants to make paintings which show the eternal nature of the dohyo - a ring to us. He says, "Every day hundreds of sumo bouts take place. No bout resembles the other. The dohyo is a small, limited space, but there are endless bouts on it. It's interesting to watch each bout carefully. You can feel the emotions and the life in it. Although sumo rules are easy I feel the infinity of the dohyo. It's the same with art which represents infinite imagination on limited canvas.

I want to show the twinkle of the spirit and the body in my paintings." (Hiroyuki Kimura)

1975 - Born in Tokyo

2001 - Win of the 12th Japanese Garyuzakura art prize
2002 - Win of the 13th Japanese Garyuzakura art prize

2003 - Tama Art University; Exhibition Art Galerie Kan

2004 - New wind of Yamanaka lake exhibition

2005 - Hope exhibition, Art space Rashinban Piezograph print exhibition, Art space Rashinba exhibition, Art space Rashinban Active Arts Piezograph Print exhibition

2006 - Let´s paint Hana, Galerie Kyubi Active Arts Piezograph Print exhibition, Art space Rashinban

2007 - Hope exhibition, Art space Rashinban exhibition, Toki Art space

2008 - Solo exhibition (Gallery Jin)

2009 - Galerie Hexagone, Aachen