Hiroshi Wada: The First New York Solo Exhibition
Japanese artist Hiroshi Wada is a calligraphy painter. Wada studied the ancient tradition of “shodo”—brush and ink drawing on rice paper— with a great master of this art form. While his art retains the spontaneity and playfulness of a child’s drawing, in fact it takes years of apprenticeship to achieve their effortless look. Wada’s aim, however, is not the traditional “sho.” The artist believes in the importance of modernizing this conventional practice. He aspires to create calligraphy that is modern, even avant-garde, yet still rooted in tradition. When he writes characters, he forgets what he has learned and starts with a “clean slate”, drawing like a child. For Wada, calligraphy is a way to bring joy and playfulness to others. Wada believes that while life’s hurdles may range from personal failures to cataclysmic disasters, art has the capacity to empower, heal, and create peace. Wada’s background as a track-and-field athlete reflects in the explosive energy and near-physical intensity to his gestural compositions.