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“People do not often look at traditional art, it’s so different.”

“I like challenge,” Hisashi Otsuka says of his art,

which masterfully blends Eastern techniques with West- ern ideas. It’s traditional art as opposed to “popular” art. And therein lies the challenge. “People do not often look at

traditional art,”

Otsuka said. “It’s so different.” Otsuka features a wide variety of Japanese char-

acters, from samurai of the “Bushido” honor code to “Ukiyo-e” women in kimonos. But his mixing of color – for which he is renowned

internationally – is definitely contemporary. Otsuka first started developing his technique after

he graduated from middle school at the age of 15. Needing money for high school, he worked for a kimono company and learned the art of painting with lacquer based ink on silk. His teacher at

and discovered the best looking combinations. On his website, Otsuka refers to this as “perfect

color memory and sense,” likening it to perfect pitch for a concert musician. Hisashi never attended art school and considers

that in his favor. Otsuka said, “I am very lucky to have learned that way.” Through this approach his unique style developed

inspiring a friend of his from Japan, who had become a gallery owner in Hawaii, to invite him to visit in 1978. Soon Otsuka was exhibiting regularly at

the gallery

and three years later he moved to Hawaii. By

the mid-1980’s Otsuka gained international

fame with many sell out shows across the world. He was commissioned to create the New York Art

the company gave him different

colors to work with every day, and Otsuka, in rigorous, routinized permutations, memorized all of the colors

“Homage to Musashi” 15x18" Mixed Media Limited Edition APx/10

Expo poster from 1988 to 1991. Otsuka’s works are classical in design and contem-

porary in color creating beauty that only the eye of a master can perceive.

“Prosperity Kimono” 24x24" Mixed Media Limited Edition EXCLUSIVE COLLECTIONS GALLERIES

Eye of the Master


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