Hiroki Otsuka (Japan)

His debut solo show at Brooklyn's Stay Gold Gallery in 2005 prompted The New Yorker to write that his works "push the populist youth quotient through the roof." Since then, his work has appeared in galleries throughout the United States and Japan and has been featured in international art fairs in New York, Tokyo, and Basel, Switzerland. He's been exhibited at major art institutions such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (Nothing Moments, 2007), and in academic settings such as at the Pittsburgh University Art Gallery (Making Faces: Depiction of Women in Japan from Edo to Today, 2009). In 2007, Hiroki Otsuka was featured in Japan Society’s centennial exhibition “Making a Home”, curated by Eric C. Shiner, which highlighted 33 Japanese contemporary artists living and working in New York. In 2010, Otsuka served as the Japan Society's first-ever manga artist-in-residence during the exhibition Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi from the Arthur R. Miller Collection. Berlin's Kunstraum Richard Sorge held a major exhibition of Hiroki Otsuka's paintings and murals (Everything to More, 2009), and Bushwick's Wayfarer's Gallery showcased more recent work (Men and Cats, 2017). Otsuka also provided the integrated illustrations for choreographer Jeremy Wade's critically acclaimed multimedia dance there is no end to more, which had its world premiere in New York.

His two older brothers were manga and anime otaku and grew up constantly reading Weekly Shonen Jump and Weekly Shonen Sunday. All three aspired to become manga artists, and Otsuka was especially fond of Shojo (Girl) manga. Influenced by "Tokimeki Tonight" (Koi Ikeno, "Ribon" Shueisha, 1982-1994) and the works of Ryo Ikuemi (1964- ), he also enjoyed "Dragon Ball" (Akira Toriyama, "Weekly Shonen Jump" Shueisha, 1984-1995) and "Fist of the North Star" (Takeru Takeshi; original story, Tetsuo Hara; illustrations, "Weekly Shonen Jump” Shueisha, 1983-1988) also moved him. As a result, a gender-neutral expression became Otsuka's signature style. Otsuka’s newly produced works inspired by Ukiyo-é expressions are seen in the exhibition.