I recently visited Japanese artist Shinji Himeno in Berlin. It was a great surprise to discover him there after I had lived there for three years, never knowing he existed. I wonder who else is hidden there.
His works often have figures whose heads are covered with a cloth, and many then have hovering masks. When we asked him if there was a meaning to this, he simply replied yes, but never elaborated further.
What I like about his work is that while he is obviously trained in classical Western painting technique, the influence of his homeland is evident in his work. This immediately sets him apart from others that have trained the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
He started his studies at the same university that Peter Gric and Luigi La Speranza were finishing at and it is through them that I’ve come into contact with him. He studied from 1993 – 1997 under Arik Brauer at the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna. While Fuchs is certainly famous, Brauer has trained many of the outstanding artists of the current generation of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism.
Shinji most certainly falls into the category of outstanding artist, with his fine technique and orgiginal themes and content. His works are usually rather large, which I find a pleasure because it allows the artist to indulge in more detail. But this does make for slightly crowded conditions in his home studio.
We spent several hours talking, drinking tee and eating freshly backed cake. I of course brought his attention to beinart.org, and I am very pleased to say that he agreed to have a profile and gallery on the website. We naturally also spoke about Shoji Tanka the forthcoming IFAA exhibition in Kyoto.
After having a very enjoyable time, we all had to part ways because of other commitments that day. I certainly look forward to staying in contact with Shinji and seeing his new creations.
His website: shinjihimeno.com