Slices of Beauty on the Hudson: Cut-Paper Works by Hiro Takeshita

December 15, 2013 - January 19, 2014

Hiro Takeshita was born in Nagasaki, Japan, and from an early age was interested in art and American culture. Born two years after the atomic bomb blast in his native city, he can still recall his mother’s searing memories of that day. However, he also recalls the kindness of American soldiers and being captivated by American television shows on television, which ultimately motivated him to move to the U.S. in 1977 after studying art and print-making in Tokyo.

The bright colors of his native city and his fascination with American pop culture led him to admire artists of the post-Impressionist period, particularly Henri Matisse, Abstract Expressionists like Richard Diebenkorn and Pop Artists, especially Andy Warhol.

He moved to Hoboken in 1985, where he creates artwork that reflects his fascination with the Hudson River and its views of New York City. If you stroll along Hoboken’s waterfront walkway, you may have seen him with a large 14”x17” sketchbook, finding inspiration in the ever-changing panorama it offers.

“I always enjoy sketching scenes on the Hoboken waterfront, of people enjoying the outdoors, walking, kids playing, the happy moments,” he says. “Art is communication; I like to share the joy and beauty with other people.”

At first glance, his works appear to be delicately painted in saturated colors and fine lines. The lights of New York City twinkle across the Hudson, a fine tracery of fireworks showers down over the river, tree branches twist in the wind. But step up closer to the pictures and you just might be able to detect the sliced paper. In some cases, there might be four or five layers, but he uses fine origami paper, so the surface is virtually flat. It’s a technique known as “kirigama,” in Japan, but is practiced in many forms, including much of Matisse’s late work.

Click here to see a virtual gallery of the exhibit.

The Museum’s Upper Gallery featured his latest creations in a show titled, “Slices of Beauty on the Hudson, Cut-Paper Works by Hiro Takeshita,” on view from Deccember 19, 2013 – January 19, 2014. View more of his work at www.hirotakeshita.com.

This is Takeshita’s second exhibit at the Hoboken Museum, and his work has been exhibited in New York City and elsewhere. He has also created works in oil paints, pastels, watercolors, and print-making, but his prime concentration these days is in cut-paper works. Each year, he contributes works to a group art show dedicated to the Peace memorial at Nagasaki on the anniversary, August 9, of the atomic bomb blast.

The exhibit is supported by a block grant from the State/County Partnership program for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.