Like the samurai in many of his paintings on fabric, Hisashi Otsuka is an artist of remarkable dedication. Schooled in Zen and the martial arts, he has lived and worked by the warrior’s code of discipline and duty. Rooted in Japanese tradition, yet adventurous in nature, he is known throughout the world for his boldness of color and style that mark him as truly visionary.
Otsuka’s work today is a powerful balance of ancient Eastern techniques and modern Western ideas. Like a concert musician with perfect pitch, he has acute color memory and sense. His time-honored poets and warriors, kabuki figures, ukiyo-e women, and elegant calligraphy are steeped in the classical past. Yet in color and composition, his work achieves a vigorous, post-Modern style. Monumental in scope and meticulous in detail, it offers a total aesthetic of heroic and subtle impact at once.
Otsuka came to the West – to Hawaii – in 1979. Until that time his painting had been historical in subject and theme. Later, it would would emerge from the past in vital and striking ways of contemporaneousness.
On one level, Otsuka’s compositions have evolved to a decorative elegance. In another, Otsuka’s art has achieved an important transition: a cross-cultural excellence that not only appeals to East and West artistically, but also brings them together in understanding. This, after all, is Otsuka’s personal mission, and he pursues it with splendid dedication. In New York, London, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Hawaii, Otsuka’s one-man shows have earned the highest praise. His international prominence increases year by year, making him truly a dominant force on the world art scene.
To Otsuka, life and art create each other. He – the master-sensei, the warrior – devotes himself to the fabric of both, wielding his brushes like swords.