Beyond the Streets on Paper: A Conversation with Yusuke Hanai
There has been a lot of art creating over the past year that speaks to the human condition, our uncertainty, our universal fears and concerns. Japanese-based artist Yusuke Hanai doesn't literally create art based on the current state of the world, or hit you in the face with a political message. His works are quiet, unifying in their simple emotions, often depicting a type of sadness or even care that is rare. Known for his collaborations and now and increasingly refined fine art practice, the surfing-crazed artist is beginning to make waves in the art world.
Beyond the Streets: Has the past year impacted or influenced your work in any way? How so?
Yusuke Hanai: My works are always try to encourage ordinary people who straggling in life or facing something. this past year we all facing tough situations. So I think and feel more about life.
How has the mood of your most recent work changed or shifted from past work we’ve seen?
Basically same. But I always try to update.
What would you say is the medium that has defined your work as an artist?
I just love to create something. It depends on how people call me.
When was the last time you produced works on paper?
I draw on a paper a lot. I think last week, I painted on paper before painting a big canvas.
What does working on paper look like for you?
Working on paper is direct for my idea. So it’s fresh and free.
It seems like in the past year artists everywhere quite literally went back to the “drawing board.” What was that experience like for you as an artist or an individual?
I don’t know. Just keep creating stuff like before
Has your relationship with time changed at all in regards to creating?
No. Nothing changed. Maybe bit mellower because I don’t need to go to Tokyo for meetings. Now we have meetings online. I go my studio 8:30am and I am back home at 7pm. If there are waves, I go surfing.
What are some new hobbies or skills you cultivated in the past year that you have continued to keep up?
In the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time with my daughters because schools closed with the COVID pandemic. We live near the mountains. We walk and hunt butterflies and some insects and draw them together. It was fun but I don’t know if we can keep it up or not.
Any playlists or podcasts you listened to while making your works on paper?
Wolfgang Lackershmid and Chet Baker Quintet session, 1979. I listen to this a lot lately.
BEYOND THE STREETS on PAPER is on view at the Southampton Arts Center in Southampton, New York through August 28, 2021