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hisaya taira

b. 1960, Japanese

Taira first began producing photorealistic paintings based on photographs after he graduated from university.  As a university student he worked in an abstract style, but he long had faith in his detailed drawing ability, and drawing photos during pauses in his work would gradually set him on a path of photorealism.  His subjects were "ordinary scenes" of urban Japan and North America.  His first photorealist paintings span the last half of the 1980s through the early 90s when he painted scenes of suburban Japan.  Starting around the mid-90s, his main subject was North America:  "In America there are ordinary scenes of extraordinary quality.  When I first walked the suburbs, I was fascinated by the empty space-something that Japan doesn't have-that felt like suddenly being freed from an enclosure.  I was sure that what I was looking for was here, and from that point America came to dominate my everyday scenes."  Taira's subjects are such mundane places as empty parking lots and roads on sunny days and subway platforms.  The particles of light that fill the place and all of the textural features are meticulously painted onto the canvas.  Moreover, his compositional technique selects angles that stress the vanishing point and bring out perspective.  Like a daydream on canvas, Taira's paintings crystallize superb technique stripped of all emotion.  When gazing at a Taira painting, one is almost overwhelmed by their expansiveness.  In his North American scenes, Taira established a style that injects his "ordinary scenes" with a quiet stoicism. - (edit):  Miura Tsutomu, Curator, Tottori Prefectural Museum)