Archive for December 24, 2012

Artist of the moment…..Hisashi Otsuka

Hisashi Otsuka is recognized as one of the few living master artists of Japan. Otsuka is certainly my favorite Japanese artist! He is great at design in a variety of genres associated with Eastern culture such as the fighting figures named Ronin. Ronin is another term for a samurai who is without a master. The artist is also well known for his elegant portraits of women dressed in spectacular robes. Otsuka is also famous for his choice of medium, ink on fabric. Otsuka was born in 1947 in Japan. He got his start in the art world thru designing textiles and kimono robes. He was able to apprentice under a master kimono maker in Taeko Jo.

In 1979 the artist relocated to Hawaii and would eventually become an American citizen.

Otsuka is just a great all around artist capable of working in a variety of mediums. He reminds me of the artists here that were prominent artists in the art deco world, but also made great inroads into the world of fine art. If you enjoy Otsuka be sure and check out the art of ERTE, a prominent artist of the 1920s whose great design instincts made his works highly sought after in many mediums such as paintings and clothes.


In this short interview the artist tells us about the unique applique he uses for his work with ink on silk. Part One.

Part Two of the interview with Hisasha Otsuka

Price range information:  Otsuka has produced many collotypes and lithographs that range in price from $100 to $700. He has also made paintings using lacquer based dyes that can range from $7,500 to $30,000. Works done using oils on silk, rather than the artist’s usual method of lacquer based dyes, can reach up to $20,000.

A link to the artist’s own personal website:

Has been part of shows in Beverly Hills, New York city, Indianapolis, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and Hawaii.

Otsuka grew up in Japan and visited Hawaii for the first time in

The main idea I take away from this artist is his ability to blend and mix thoughts. Eastern vs. Western painting ideas. Ancient composition skills from master Eastern artists of yesteryear blended with modern and bright vivid color palette of the modern era. Its great fun to watch artists that have extensive careers in design from industrialized areas of business art such as clothing or furniture design.


In this manner I am reminded of the great American artists that started with commercial illustration and moved onto lucrative and successful careers in fine art such as Steve Huston and Howard Terpning. Terpning is the most highly sought after Western themed painter that is alive today. Paintings of the artist have broken the 1 million dollar barrier. Both Huston and Terpning learned their design skills through working in the commercial advertising field as a poster painter of movies.