Latest Works by Japanese Master of Pop Spectacle on Display in Atlanta

Japanese-born artist Hiro Yamagata is famous for his colorful silkscreen paintings and widely recognized as a pioneer of contemporary laser art.

As master of pop spectacle, his wide ranging works included painting a fleet of Mercedes Benz Cabriolet motorcars with a cascade flowers and butterflies, official portrait of President Ronald Reagan, to producing paintings for the Olympics and the centennial celebration of the Eiffle Tower.

His large scale laser installations in Paris, Bilbao, St. Louis, Yokohama, and Cape Town captured the imagination of general public. He has worked on collaborative works with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Over the past five years, Hiro spent majority of his time towards a proposed laser-beam recreation of the destroyed Buddhas statues at the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. He was forced to abandon the project due to lack of local support.

Photo courtesy: Bill Lowe Gallery

In quite a different vein of work, TRANSIENT is a series of works on canvas that explore the transient world of consciousness. The works Yamagata’s fascination with unconscious experience and sensory stimulation. The shadowy places between human levels of consciousness are the subject of this series as he diagrammatically tracks simultaneous experiences of multiple realities experienced by the human brain in any one moment, including conscious experience, physical experience, emotional responses and what he describes as “buried memories, forgotten dreams, and fleeting ideas.”

“I started working on TRANSIENT since 1966. It started as a project for a high school festival and I kept working on it on the side until it completes,” said Yamagata in an exclusive phone interview from Los Angeles.

Hiro Yamagata was born in Japan in 1948, and studied at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he befriended members of the Beat Generation including Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. He moved to Los Angeles in 1978, then toured the States for seven years. He continues to live and work in Los Angeles.

TRANSIENT, his first exhibit at Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta, was previously shown at Frank Gehry’s studio in Los Angeles in September 2007. TRANSIENT is scheduled to exhibit at the National Gallery in Shanghai and Beijing in 2012.

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