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Drawing on ideas of collectability and fantasy, the Japanese artist Hiro Ando combines tradition with contemporary culture in his sculpture work. Ando’s editioned sculptures resemble enlarged toy cartoon characters and bear names such as SumoCat, SamuraiCat, UrbanCat, WarriorCat and RobotCat. They’re mainly monochrome and glossy, a few are enrobed in rhinestones or hand-painted. Ando’s work is the creative fruit of Japanese mass culture. His cat figures are reminiscent of maneki-neko (which literally means “beckoning cat”), a ubiquitous Japanese cultural icon symbolizing good luck. Maneki-neko figurines can be found in nearly every souvenir store and restaurant in Japan. Ando’s cats also resemble a masculine version of Hello Kitty, another feline character that originated in Japan. Ando’s work shares both the neo-pop spirit of Jeff Koons’s balloon dog figurines and Takashi Murakami’s “otaku” sculptures, though Ando’s sculptures do not convey the overt eroticism and darkness that much of Koons’ and Murakami’s work do. Ando expresses a lighter side of neo-pop, highlighting that contemporary art can be both fun and have wide appeal.

HelloPandaSan, 2015, Stainless Steel Polished, Edition of 8,  11 4/5 × 27 3/5 × 15 7/10 in - 30 × 70 × 40 cm .

 

Being a world-class metropolis, Tokyo is a place of endless happenings, beginnings, and a plentiful history. With so much to offer, it is no wonder many find inspiration in its present and past content, and Hiro Ando is no exception. Depicting the scenery of the city with a traditional nuance, Ando adds the contemporary element into his paintings, drawings, and recently sculptural work, mostly influenced by Japanese Manga. As one of the founding members of the CrazyNoodles collective studio, Ando and his work represent the light, fun side of the neo-pop culture.

 
 

"PANDASAN DIAMONDSSTRASS", 2011, Mix Media Resin and DiamondsStrass, 21 7/10 × 17 7/10 × 17 7/10 in - 55 × 45 × 45 cm, Edition of 8.

 

"PANORAMA", 2009, Oil on Canvas,  100 × 250 cm.

 

Merging Traditional With Contemporary

Acquiring his degree from the University of Art, Hiro Ando began his career in 1995 in Tokyo, depicting its nighttime urban landscape. With a lot of inspiration, the streets proved to be an endless source of material for his narratives which often included the red fish in addition to the urban background. The act of the red fish in his paintings greatly reminds of the ancient Japanese watercolor paintings, thus making his work permeated with both a contemporary and traditional feeling. With his artistic beginnings tied to illustration, he would draw several sketches before actually working on the canvas, and his practice has since spread to video material, digital support, and sculpture.

 
 
 

"CAB624", 2010, OIl on Canvas, 37 2/5 × 39 2/5 in - 95 × 100 cm.

"TOKYO NIGHT ORANGE", 2009, Oil on Canvas, 51 1/5 × 63 4/5 in - 130 × 162 cm.

"TOKYO NIGHT BLU", 2009, Oil on Canvas, 55 1/10 × 57 1/10 in140 × 145 cm.

"YUKI U 624", 2009, Oil on Canvas, 23 3/5 × 23 3/5 in - 60 × 60 cm.

 

WarriorCat, 2011, Stainless Steel Polished, Edition of 8, 31 1/2 × 47 1/5 × 19 7/10 in - 80 × 120 × 50 cm.

Adding Sculpture

Being a multidisciplinary artist, Hiro Ando has also added sculpture to his portfolio, creating artwork that furthers his conjunction of old and new. Built upon the traditional maneki-neko, standing for “lucky cat” within the Japanese mass culture, Ando constructs cat-like figures assuming various forms like samurai, sumo, and robot. Their outlook reminds of Japanese modern Manga, a world that influenced the youth of the artist profoundly, instilling Ando’s sculptures with a light, approachable line. Adding to it are the bright, often monochrome colors, and the smooth, shiny materials including resin, porcelain, bronze, and even diamonds, making his works representative of the contemporary neo-pop art.

"SAMURAICAT DIAMONDSSTRASS", 2006, Mix Media Resin and DiamondsStrass, 59 1/10 × 39 2/5 × 31 1/2 in - 150 × 100 × 80 cm, Edition of 8.

 
 

"WARRIORCAT DIAMONDSSTRASS", 2011, Mix Media Resin and DiamondsStrass, 39 2/5 in - 100 cm - Edition of 8

 

 

 

"NISHIKIGOI", 2015, Stainless Stell Polished & Carved , Painted and Varnished, 15 7/10 in - 40 cm, Edition of 8

 

A Modern Samurai

By adding the element of tradition to the popular Japanese culture, Hiro Ando creates an alluring portfolio that is easily paving its own road within the contemporary art world. Likable and easy on the eye, the cat-like sculptures became his signature mark and are uplifting Ando in the current art scene. Posing a new view on the traditional norms, Ando is a modern samurai of the Japanese art.

Before The Hunger Games, the groundbreaking Japanese novel Batoru Rowaiaru (Battle Royale) written by Koushun Takami was published in 1999. This is a futuristic horror story which tells of an authoritarian government that forces junior high students to fight to the death. The novel was quite controversial for its brutal themes and depictions of violence, not to mention Takami’s vivid imagining of the Japanese government as a police state with a sadistic streak. Perhaps not surprisingly, the novel was also hugely popular: It was quickly turned into a manga series and a feature film. It’s no wonder, then, that Battle Royale served as a galvanizing force for Hiro Ando, the Japanese artist frequently inspired by pop culture, manga, and the streets of Tokyo.

Rendered in gleaming stainless steel, the quartet of sculptures in his “School Girls” series depicts four characters from Takami’s bestseller. According to the book, Yuki U, Chisato M, Haruka T, and Satomi N are just a few of the 42 young students obligated to battle each other to the death on a remote island over the course of three days. There’s only one winner (i.e., survivor) but regardless, the girls’ stories intertwine: They’re allies, then co-conspirators, then, inevitably, they consider turning on one other.

There is something delicate and feminine about Ando’s Battle Royale characters, they are  innocent children forced into bloody battle; regal, heroic, and deadly. And it’s not just Ando’s choice of material—the elegant, carefully polished stainless steel. There is dignity and grace to the girls and their poses, their calm expressions, the way they bravely brandish their swords in the face of death.

 

"CHISATO.M Serie of 4 SCHOOL GIRLS BATTLE ROYALE", 2015, Stainless Steel Polished, 63 in - 160 cm, Edition of 8

"YUKI.U Serie of 4 SCHOOL GIRLS BATTLE ROYALE", 2015, Stainless Steel Polished, 63 in - 160 cm, Edition of 8

"SATOMI.N Serie of 4 SCHOOL GIRLS BATTLE ROYALE", 2015, Stainless Steel Polished, 63 in - 160 cm- Edition of 8

"HARUKA.T Serie of 4 SCHOOL GIRLS BATTLE ROYALE", 2015, Stainless Steel Polished, 63 in - 160 cm, Edition of 8

 
 
 

EXHIBITION HISTORY

2016
KAWAI Show , Gallery 32 , TelAviv , Israel
Permanent Exhibition , Galerie Alain Daudet , Toulouse , France
Crazy noodles gang !!!!! , Opera Gallery Singapore , Singapore
Collective Show, Guerrero Gallery , Miami, USA
Permanent Exhibition, TRIBES gallery, Tel Aviv , Israel
Permanent Presentation , Happy Art Gallery , Cannes , France
Collective Show , LTBart Gallery, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
Nippon Neo Pop Show, ZK Gallery , San Francisco, USA
CrazyNoodles Show , Gallerie Ariel Jakob , Paris , France
Colorfull, Guerrero Fine Art , Barcelona, Sitges, Spain
Permanent Exhibition, TRIBES gallery, Tel Aviv , Israel

2015
Collective Show , Opera Gallery Dubai , Dubai , UAE
PandaSan and friends , SIBMAN Gallery , Paris , France
Permanent show , Gallery Bel Air Fine Art , Crans Montana, Switzerland
Icons PartII , Gallery 32 , TelAviv , Israel
Magnificient Contemporary Art , Opera Gallery Hong Kong , Hong Kong , China CrazyNoodles Show, Opera Gallery Singapore , Singapore
Collective Show, LTBart Gallery , Ciudad de Mexico , Mexico.

2014
Collective Show , Opera Gallery Hong Kong ,Hong Kong , China
Pop Sculptures , Opera Gallery Paris, Paris , France.
ColorFull , Galerie Ariel Sibony , Paris, France
Collective Show , Opera Gallery Singapore , Singapore
Permanent Presentation , Happy Art Gallery , Cannes , France
Icons , Gallery 32 , TelAviv , Israel
Collective Show , Galerie Absolute , Saint Paul de Vence , France
This is Tokyo , SIBMAN Gallery , Paris , France
Permanent Exhibition , BelAirFineArt Geneve , Geneve , Switzerland
Opening Show LTBart Gallery, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
Permanent Exhibition , Galerie Alain Daudet , Toulouse , France

2013
Permanent Exhibition Sculptures , Galerie SIBMAN , Paris France.
Nippon Pop Show , SIBMAN Gallery , Paris , France
Opening Collective Show , Gallery32 , telAviv, Israel.
Mad Show , Maddog Gallery , Ibiza , Spain
Permanent Presentation , Happy Art Gallery , Cannes , France

2012
Pop Art Show , Luca Fine Art , Verbier , Switzerland
Pop Show , Gallery Bel Air Fine Art , Crans Montana, Switzerland.
CrazyNoodles Show , Gallerie Ariel Jakob , Paris , France
Permanent Presentation , Happy Art Gallery , Cannes , France
Permanent Exhibition Sculptures , Galerie Ariel Sibony , Paris France.
AnyWhichWay , Galerie BelAirFineArt , Geneve , Geneve , Switzerland.

2011
Collective Show, Rize Art Gallery, Naarden, The Netherlands
Collective Show , Galerie Alain Daudet, Toulouse , France
CrazyNoodles Show , Galerie Marie Ricco , Calvi , France
Pop Art Show , Galerie des Lices, Saint Tropez , France.
Collective Show , Absolute Gallery, Brugge , Belgium.
Show CrazyNoodles , Sibman Gallery , Paris ,France
ColorFull , Galerie Ariel Sibony , Paris France.
ARTAMSTERDAM (ARTFAIR),RAI Edition 28 , Amsterdam , The Netherlands

2010
Nippon Neo Pop in Paris, Galerie Jacob Paulett, Paris, France
Manga in Amsterdam, Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam , The Netherlands
Nippon Collective Show, Galerie Ariel Jakob, Paris, France
CrazyColors , Opera GALLERY, Paris, France
LILLE ART FAIR (ARTFAIR), Palais des Expositions de Lille, Lille, France
ARTAMSTERDAM (ARTFAIR),RAI Edition 26 , Amsterdam , The Netherlands

2009
Nippon 2009, Galerie Ariel Sibony, Paris, France
From Kyoto to Tokyo, Collective Show, Galerie JacobPaulett, Paris France
The World ... a Cartoon, Willem Kerseboom Gallery, Amsterdam , The Netherlands
Shogun in PokemonLand, Opera GALLERY, Geneva, Switzerland
ARTPARIS (ARTFAIR), GrandPalais, Paris, France
ARTAMSTERDAM (ARTFAIR),RAI Edition 25 , Amsterdam , The Netherlands
SCOPE BASEL(ARTFAIR), KASERN Basel, Basel, Switzerland
SCOPE NEW YORK (ARTFAIR), 355 West 36th Street, New York, USA
SLICK PARIS (ARTFAIR), le 104, Paris, France

2008
NeoPop Made in JAPAN, Galerie Ariel Sibony, Paris, France
Tokyo Express, Opera Gallery, London, UK
Inside Japan, La 5eme Galerie, Paris, France
Wonderland, , Japanese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Opera Gallery, Hong Kong, China
ARTLONDON (ARTFAIR), Royal Hospital, London, UK

BUSHI, 2015, Stainless Steel Carved & Polished, 39 2/5 × 23 3/5 × 15 7/10 in - 100 × 60 × 40 cm - Edition of 8.

 

StudiOCraZynOOdles

Contact:

Stephan A COHEN
+33 (0) 950 655 723

 

www.studiocrazynoodles.com

www.hiroando.com

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