I believe that all humans have uchuiden kioku ‘cosmic inherent memory’, my work is an exploration of the mysteries of my own uchuiden.


—Hisao Hanafusa

Hisao Hanafusa (b. 1937) was born in Miyakonojo, a city at the southernmost tip of Japan. After graduating from the Kyoto University of Fine Arts, he moved to New York in 1963. His career as an artist in New York witnessed many successes. Most notably, his works have appeared in four group exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum. Hanafusa is both a traditional craftsman and a contemporary artist. His work encompasses inspirations drawn from vastly different realms and cultures.


Hanafusa’s paintings can be roughly divided into two groups: his steel paintings of the late twentieth century, and his gestural paintings started in the 2000s. Works of the first group, mostly created with steel tubes and paint on canvas, epitomized aesthetic strategies of mid-century Japanese and American contemporary art. Later in his career, Hanafusa believed that painting carries knowledge innate to human mind. Guided by this idea, his later work series “Uchuiden Kioku” feature all-over compositions created with silver aluminum paint. These later works also involve a temporal dimension. As the silver paint ages over the years, it changes into dark red, yellow, or brown. Works of the earlier group are mostly restrained in visual expression, sharing much similarity with mono-ha and minimalism; the later works highlight the materiality of paint, generating marks reminiscent of gestural brushwork. What connects these two groups of works is Hanafusa’s continuing challenge of the boundary of painting.


Hanafusa’s artworks are in the collection of a number of worldly renowned art institutions, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. As for the artist’s carpentry work, relevant reports have appeared on New York Timesand New York Magazine.




1961 Graduated from Kyoto University of Fine Arts, Kyoto, Japan


Solo Exhibition

2019 A Unified Horizon, UNIX Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2018 5th Dimension, The New York University Institute of Fine Arts, New York, NY, U.S.A
2017 5th Dimension, Stephen Globus Fine Arts, New York, NY,  U.S.A
  5th Dimension, Koki Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2012 Uchuiden Kioku, Koki Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2011 Uchuiden, Gary Snyder Project Space, New York, NY, U.S.A.
1994 Brenda Hall Gallery, San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
1992 Connecticut College, New London, CT, USA
1990 A.B.C. Gallery, Osaka, Japan
  Twenty-Five Years in America, Susan Cooper Gallery, Woodstock, NY, U.S.A
1988 Hanafusa:Paintings, The Kendall Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1978 Hanafusa Hisao Solo Exhibition, Green Collection, Tokyo, Japan
1977 Hunterdon Art Center,Hunterdon, NJ, USA
  Hanafusa Hisao Sakuhinten, Nuage: Environment for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.
1976 Kagoshima Art Museum, Kagoshima, Japan
1975 Hisao Hanafusa, Lamagna Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1969 Stable Gallery, New York, NY, U.S.A.
  Hanafusa, Pace College, New York, NY, U.S.A.
1960 Kyoto-fu Gallery, Kyoto, Japan


Group Exhibitions

2019 UNIX Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA
2017 - 2018 Art on Paper, Koki Arts, Osaka, Japan, New York, NY, U.S.A.
2017 Uchuiden, 5th Dimension, Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY, U.S.A.
2011 - 2012 Pre-Opening Exhibition, Koki Arts, Tokyo, Japan
2010 1960’S REVISITED, David Richard Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM, U.S.A.
2006 Crosscurrents in Contemporary Art, The Lobby Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1995 Collection Show, Bergen Museum, Bergen, NJ, U.S.A.
1993 Five Artists Show, Tenri Gallery, New York, NY, USA
1987 Five Artists Show, Gallery International 52, New York, NY, USA

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