Interview: Keiko Hasegawa


Name: Keiko Hasegawa

Where do you live: Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Kanagawa Prefecture is next to Tokyo.

Known for: I’m known for paintings.

Currently working on:
Now, I am thinking about the structure of my new piece.

When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
My previous job was editing educational materials for children. I was very pleased with the job, because I liked to make things. But, one day I realized that I wanted to work out something, like a heaven for me by myself.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Paris. Ten years ago, I visited Paris for the first time. When I saw the scenery of Paris, I raised a surprising voice. Because it was stunningly beautiful. I had seen it with photos and on TV, but I marveled at the beauty of the actual scene. Since then, I have visited Paris many times in various seasons. I hope that I will live in Paris with my family someday.

How would you describe your creativity?
My motif is girls. I am attracted by the unique beauty of the girls. I think that the girls who are not children and not adults are very beautiful. Why do I think of them as being so beautiful? Because they each have a spoonful of poison. They are slightly nasty, slightly haughty, and slightly lazy. Their beauties are like the beauty of an opening rose which has fresh thorns.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Ten years ago, when I was 30 years old. I quit the company I was in and entered an art school. I learned the power of expression of my inner world by painting at the school.

What do you do at the moment?
I think about the structure of my piece. To express a heaven that I dream of at this moment, I imagine various things―what scene, what pose, what kind of clothes, what color, and so on.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
I think that the trying to foster sensitivity will be good. I think that to enrich one’s mind by soaking many beauties―looking at pictures, watching movies, watching stages, and reading books, for example―is important.

Tell us how it all started.
I have loved dreaming and expressing my world of fantasy by drawing ever since I was a child.

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The condition of being well lighted by the sun. It is very important to check the colors properly.

What is your favorite film?
Haru no Yuki’s ‘Snowy Love Fallin’ in Spring‘. It was adapted for the film from the novel by Yukio Mishima. It is full of Japanese beauties. And the facial expressions which the leading actress has on her face are very attractive.

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
What a difficult question this is! Because there are a lot of people whom I want to invite to dinner. But if I must choose one of them, I will choose Henri Rousseau. I really love his pictures. Whenever I look at his pictures, I think that he must have been pure and lovely. So I want him to tell me about many things he likes at dinner. And I want to see how adorably he tears bread and removes the bones from a fish.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
I would like to savor many beautiful and delicious cakes with rapture.

What is luxury for you?
To be satisfied with beautiful things. It is gazing at beautiful things, listening to beautiful things, wearing beautiful things, and savoring beautiful things.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
From Keisuke Nagatomo, an art director who represents Japan. He said, “The graceful and amorous mood of your painting drew my attention. I saw the fun of the illustration which changes to the unusual by a little something”.

What do you fear most?
To improve my technique of painting more than necessary.

What is a happy life to you?
To spend everyday having fun and being happy with my beloved family―my husband and my daughter.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Raising a baby keeps me busy, but I am really happy every day. And I am having exciting days with rediscovering beauties and fun of this world through the eyes of my daughter.

Tell us about your dream project.
I want to hold a personal exhibition of my large paintings. I want to make a beautiful place filled with my paintings.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Ikko Tanaka. When I was a child, I was shocked by Nihon Buyo.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
My pictures are painted in Japanese colors. I think it is because I was raised in the country with a lot of beautiful nature.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
Of course, it is my beloved family.

What inspires you?
Something beautiful. Whenever I come across a beautiful thing, I desire to draw pictures.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Ineiraisan– ‘In Praise of Shadows’‘ by Junichiro Tanizaki. It is an essay written about the Japanese sense of beauty. Every time I read this book, I am strongly attracted and fascinated by many beautiful things. I think my sense of beauty was influenced by this book.

Visit Keiko’s Website

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