The young artist, who studied at Wimbledon College of Arts in London, has already attracted a lot of attention from major collectors in Asia off the back of solo shows with Kotaro Nukaga in Tokyo and Warehouse Gallery in Hong Kong earlier this year.
His surreal, figurative paintings rendered in bold, painterly brushstrokes are indicative of a global trend in contemporary painting. Many of these sought-after figurative painters originated in the West and have lately received a huge market boost from young, hungry Asian collectors, but here the roles are reversed, and could this be a sign of things to come?
Fellow Japanese painter Madsaki—who shows with Perrotin and studied at Parsons School of Design in New York—has started to receive global market confidence recently, perhaps paving the way for Hirako.
Earlier this year, Madsaki's painting Liberty Leading the People II (Inspired by Eugène Delacroix) (2018) broke the artist's auction record at Christie's 20th and 21st Century Art Night Sale, selling for US $ 531,000.
Hirako's paintings often depict domestic interiors with a window into the outside world or scenes set within landscapes.
A penchant for plants and intimate internal spaces calls to mind some other market stars such as Jonas Wood and more recently, Hilary Pecis, but Hirako's work feels less refined and more energetic. Expect the queue for Hirako's work to lengthen over the next few months. —[O]
Main image: Yuichi Hirako, Lost in Thought 65 (2021). Acrylic on canvas. 259 × 194 cm. Courtesy Baton Gallery