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Illustrator and comics artist Hiro Kurata

Hiro Kurata is a Brooklyn-based artist who works in comics and illustration. His work has been exhibited around the world, and his illustrations have been described as rough and playful.

Before reading the interview you might want to check out Hiro Kurata’s works on his website, www.hirokurata.com

READERSVOICE.COM: Where do you live in Brooklyn, New York, and what’s it like there?

HIRO KURATA: I live in Willamsburg.

I really enjoy living in big cities, so for me it is comfortable and exciting.

RV: How long have you lived there?

HK: It’s a bit complicated. I’ve lived in Willamsburg from 2000 to 2004.

I went back to Japan for one year and also lived in Europe for another year after that.

So, it’s been only a month since I started living in Brooklyn again.

RV: What’s your daily routine in Brooklyn?

HK: I work from 10 to 6, Monday through Friday.

After my routine duty, I go out to have fun or make my art.

RV: How did you come to move from Osaka to Tokyo to Chicago and then New York? Where did you grow up?

HK: I grew up in all these places. Born in Osaka, moved to Yokohama when I was 4 and then to Chicago for 3 years.

I learned my English during my time in Chicago.

I went back to Tokyo for 5 years; and back again to Massachusetts to go to a high school, and so on.

I’ve never stayed in one city for more than 5 years, so I guess I’m in the process of finding my home town, which seems to be Brooklyn.

RV: How did the recent Berlin 46 exhibition in Berlin get organized?

HK: I flew from Tokyo to Berlin in March of 2006.

Since I had no connection with the galleries in Berlin, I had to knock each door and promote my portfolio.

I knew that it was quite unprofessional to just come in the gallery and show your work.

But, I did not have much time to wait for emails and stuff, (because I knew that my stay in Berlin was gonna be short).

It was lucky that one of the galleries was interested in showing my work.

I got the voice back from them in April, and started to create my work for the show, which was in June.

The show was mostly organized by myself.

RV: Were you happy with the way the exhibition went?

HK: In fact this exhibition was a failure for me, because I only sold one of my works there.

Not many people came into the gallery, etc.

It was during the World Cup Soccer in Germany, so it should have been the best season for showing my work to many people.

RV: How many pictures did you have in the exhibition?

HK: About 10-12. Most of them were paintings on wood, and pencil drawings on paper.

My work is viewable at www.shiloku.com

RV: How did you get involved in the group exhibitions at the Dolce Vita2 exhibiton in Paris, and the Gershwin Hotel exhibition in New York?

HK: Both of them through a friend.

Most of the group shows are from a connection with a friend or friend of a friend.

RV: Can you recommend a few books you’ve enjoyed?

HK: I read Japanese books. The one I just finished and enjoyed is called the Autobiography of Antonio Inoki.

He was one of the most famous pro- wrestlers in Japan in 1975-2000.

I love reading biography, knowing someone’s opinions and ideas deeply and solidly.

I’ve also started to read an English book called The Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas.

The title is very funky and corny but I have to say it’s quite interesting.

Many new ideas and perspectives of life.

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