Nobuyuki Hiramatsu

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everyday life, perception, transformation
Visual Arts (installation art)
Asia, Eastern
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August 21, 2003
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Nobuyuki Hiramatsu
Nobuyuki Hiramatsu


Spatial Encounters

From Disorder to Unexpected Dialogue

Nobuyuki Hiramatsu creates site-specific installations that effect encounters between usually discrete places in order to open up possibilities for a new understanding of the world and society. He has brought together car park and gallery and places of trade, spirituality and art.
‘Rather than the object, I create the space’.

Working in and with a range of media and objects, Nobuyuki Hiramatsu creates site-specific installations that collapse spatial distances and effect encounters between usually discrete places. In the early stages of his artistic career, he was primarily concerned with understanding the relationship between himself and the world around him, and made three-dimensional works that used lines and boxes to illustrate the structure of the world. In these spaces he attempted ‘to experience the invisible energy behind the world’.

According to Martin Barlow, director of Oriel Mostyn gallery in Wales, UK, Hiramatsu soon realised that a rational and ordered method of this nature could not encompass the complexity of the actual world. The young artist then shifted his conception of his works from being objects to catalysts: ‘I then became interest in creating an “impulse” which occurs within the viewer through experiencing the work rather than my delineating its structure’, he says.

One of Hiramatsu’s most notable works was produced for the show ‘Space Experience: Homage to The National Museum of Art, Osaka’ held in 2000, a farewell exhibition to the gallery’s building in the suburb of Suita, prior its relocation to the centre of Osaka in 2005. Apparently informed that the vacated museum would be demolished and replaced with a car park, Hiramatsu this time collapsed a temporal expanse and brought the future into the present by transforming the gallery space into a dimmed car park. On the third floor of the building, car-park lines were painted on the gallery floor and thirteen cars were hoisted there for the duration of the show. The transposition was startling and, according to Barlow, ‘visitors reacted with surprise, but gradually sensed the hybrid new space created from two very familiar but usually unrelated types of public space’.

The following year, Hiramatsu continued his spatial collisions for the exhibition ‘New Space’ at the Oriel Mostyn gallery in Wales. Supported by Visiting Arts, the show was curated by Martin Barlow and Reiko Aoyagi, a noted Japanese artist living in Wales, and explored the new possibilities of spatial experience fostered by today’s global technologies and the constant traffic of people and goods across the world.

Importing a little Japanese visual vocabulary into the UK, he directed visitors to the gallery shop with flags that are used in Japan both to advertise shops and to guide people to places of worship. Within the gallery space, as Barlow points out, ‘These flags therefore link customer and shop, sacred and secular, outside and inside, audience and gallery: they are the symbol linking different elements dividing a space.’ Once in the gallery shop, visitors found toys and stickers placed there by the artist, which were related to the existing goods in the shop. For Barlow the encounter stimulates endless possible narratives: ‘Their fragmented conversation begins to make us imagine a developing story. They transform the commercial outlet which the shop space is into a creative place with a story.’

Sources include text by Martin Barlow, director of Oriel Mostyn gallery.


Nobuyuki Hiramatsu was born in 1965 in the Aichi Prefecture in Japan. He now lives and works in Nishiharu, near Nagoya. He has exhibited in Japan and the UK.



Exhibition / Installation,
2001 ‘New Space’, part of Japan 2001, Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno and Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea 2000 ‘Space Experience: Homage to the National Museum of Art’, the National Museum of Art, Osaka 1997 ‘Position 1997’, Nagoya City Art Museum


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

New Space

(04 July 03 - 04 July 05)
The National Car Park, Osaka
The Museum Shop
Closing Sale Shop