Hiroyuki Doi was born in Nagoya, Japan in 1946. He is self-taught, and proud of his individualism and status as a putative ‘outlaw’ in the urban scene. He began his career in 1980, after the death of his younger brother. This life-changing trauma redirected his energies to the creation of visual art, soon eclipsing his training as a chef. “I started to feel that something other than myself allowed me to draw these works.” His very personal rationale for pursuing an artistic career meant that it was many years before he began to show his work at public exhibitions in Japan, and it was not until 2001 that Doi’s work was first seen in the West, at the Phyllis Kind Gallery in New York. Thereafter, he has attracted considerable critical attention.
Doi combines the traditions of Asian and Western art, referring back to the Sino/Japanese tradition of ink painting (zhe/dunjinga) that became popular from the Edo period onward. He is aware of the Outsider and Self-Taught traditions in the West, as well as the art pioneered in Japan by Atsuko Tanaka and other artists of the post-war gutai movement. More recently, Doi’s achievements can be compared to those of the Conceptual artist, Yayoi Kusama. See more