Fukuoka, Japan 1960
Noritoshi Hirakawa is a Japanese contemporary artist, film maker, and film producer. Hirakawa works in a variety of media including photography, performance and installation. He was born in 1960 in Fukuoka, Japan and now lives and works in New York City.
Hirakawa's photographs are described as "erotic and intimate". Stating that "the sexual revolution is over and the Puritans won", Hirakawa's work challenges mainstream conceptions of sexuality, and the assumption that expressions of male heterosexual desire are oppressive and objectifying. His architectural photographs, unusually featuring prominent models, challenge the viewer to consider the meaning of architecture on modern urban life. In 2005, a site-specific performance entitled In Search of a Purple Heart, utilising fragments of interviews from Vietnam War veterans quoted by partially nude performers, was described as an "intense compilation of atmospheres" whose author was "intent on infecting the seductive surfaces that dominate our culture [...] with the rot of our culture’s collective guilt."
Noritoshi Hirakawa's work has been exhibited over 300 times in a variety of galleries, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, the Pompidou Centre, Paris, Venice Biennale, Museum fur Modern Kunst, Frankfurt, MoMA PS1 in New York City, Tilton Gallery and Deitch Projects in New York City , Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, the SMAK, Ghent in Belgium, the Art & Public Contemporary Art Gallery, Geneva, the Gallerie Ferdinand van Dieten in Amsterdam, the Christophe Guye Galerie in Zurich, and in Köln. Additional works by Hirakawa in permanent collections include: "Woman Children and Japanese" at The Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Art Collection, Turin, Italy, "Garden of Nirvana" at MOCA Los Angeles, “Dreams of Tokyo” at the Moderne Kunst in Frankfurtand and "Reconfirmation" at Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. In 2016, Hirakawa’s work was showcased in the second Miami Art week show “Desire”, produced by Jefferey Deitch and Larry Gagosian, and curated by Diana Widmaier-Picasso.
In 2017, Noritoshi was awarded the J. Luce Foundation Outstanding NGO Award for his service to the Fukushima community through his foundation, Today is the Day Foundation.