Naotaka Hiro

Naotaka Hiro

Born in Osaka, Japan, 1972
Lives and works in Los Angeles
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, MFA, 2000
University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, BA, 1997
Solo Exhibitions
Armor, The Box, Los Angeles, CA
In the Ravine, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo, Japan
Subterranean & Wanderer, Brennan & Griffin, New York, NY

Breaking the Waves, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, IL
Gibbous, Brennan & Griffin, New York
Peaking, The Box, Los Angeles 
Big Question, 
Brennan & Griffin, New York
Red Olive, Golden Lips
, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
Pit and Log, Brennan & Griffin, New York
Unknown, Video Works 2008 – 2011, Brennan & Griffin, New York
To and From, with Sid M. Dueñas, Dobaebacsa, Seoul
Wrong Person, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
Naotaka Hiro, The Box, Los Angeles
To and From, with Sid M. Dueñas, The Box, Los Angeles
Knows Nothing, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
Naotaka Hiro, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Selected Group Exhibitions
Forevermore Part 1, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo, Japan
Hangar, La Maison de Rendez-vous, Brussels, Belgium
In the Meanwhile ... Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art, curated by Julie Joyce, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA 
, Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Seven Stations: Selections form MOCA's Collection, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
50+50: A Creative Century from Chouinard to CalArts, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA
Cult of the Crimson Queen, curated by Michelle Segre, Ceysson & Bénétière, New York, NY
Rituals of Regard and Recollection, curated by Tricia Heuring, Law Warschaw Gallery, St. Paul, MN
Disruptive Selection, Popcorn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Flat Files, The Pit, Los Angeles, CA
Miho Dohi, Naotaka Hiro, Wataru Tominaga
, Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles, CA
Happy Mind - Natural High, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
Naotaka Hiro, Eric Wesley, Pooneh Maghazehe & Robin Peck
, Step Sister, New York, NY
Made in L.A. 2018
, curated by Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Hog’s Curve, Halsey McKay Gallery, New York, NY
Alan Shields Project, Van Doren Waxter, New York, NY
Sayonara Jupiter curated by Misako & Rosen together with XYZ Collective, 356 S. Mission Rd., Los Angeles, CA
Between Words and Silence: The Work of Translation
, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley
, curated by Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith, LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Los Angeles, CA
Protuberances, LA><ART, Los Angeles
Placebound, Woodbury University, Burbank, CA
A Modest Proposal, Hauser & Wirth, New York
Human After All, VCUarts, Richmond
impromptu, The Box, Los Angeles
Group Exhibition: Guy Goodwin, Heather Guertin, Naotaka Hiro, Dave McDermott, Jason Meadows, Brennan & Griffin, New York
Alfred Jarry Archipelago: La Valse Des Pantins - Act II, La Ferme du Buisson Centre d'Art Contemporian, Paris
RSVP Los Angeles: The Project Series at Pomona, Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
Mirror Effect, organized with Kate Costello & Liz Craft, The Box, Los Angeles
Half Empty: Dan Finsel, Naotaka Hiro, Mateo Tannatt, Brennan & Griffin, New York
Where The Sand Worm Slumbers, curated by Adam D. Miller and Devon Oder of The Pit, Charlie James, Los Angeles
Is the art pretty? No, says Mummy. Pretty is not important. with James Buss, Beffhaus, Dallas
East Side to the West Side, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York
Men in LA: Three Generations of Drawings, The Box, Los Angeles
PT. & PT. with Sid M. Duenas, High Desert Test Site, Joshua Tree
Object for the rc drone Living, Post, curated by Karen Lofgren, Los Angeles
Happy Mind My Pleasure – My View, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
SYMPATHETIC MAGIC: VIDEO MYTHS AND RITUALS, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena
ATLAS OF GIFTED IDEAS, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
GEBA GEBA, Misako & Rosen, Tokyo
EXTRA EXTRA, China Art Objects Gallery, Los Angeles
ARTIST AS PUBLISHER, The Center for Book Arts, New York
FIGURES, curated by William E. Jones, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
TRUDI: No Jerks, curated by Catherine Taft and Matthew Chambers, RENTAL, New York
Many Many Guys And Girls, All Real Beauties, Circus of Books Gallery, curated by Julian Hoeber, Los Angeles
AJA XX: API/2, curated by Kazuhiro Kosaka, JACCC, Los Angeles
Polysphäre, raumcommander, Berlin
Panic Our Older Brother, ALM Gallery, Munich
Mañana Art Fes, Yutaka Sone Studio, Pasadena
Prague Biennale1, National Gallery Veletrzni Palac Dukelskych, Prague
Young Japanese Artists, LIMN Gallery, San Francisco
Landscape, Zero One Gallery, Los Angeles
Hiropon Show, curated by Takashi Murakami, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo
New Romantic, Diannepruess Gallery, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Artificial Real, LOW, Los Angeles
Re-Lax, Gallery Krinzinger, curated by Paul McCarthy, Vienna
Ero Pop Christmas, curated by Takashi Murakami, Nadiff, Tokyo
Doug Aitken, Alex Bag, Naotaka Hiro, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo
Imprudent, Wight Gallery at University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles

Naotaka hiro: Peaking #1 & #1 (Extended Edits), in collaboration with Misako & Rosen, Hove, London, UK
Bodies 2, organized by FLAX Foundation, curated by Fabien Danesi, Los Angeles

Raw 2016, Reed College, Portland

Milwaukee International: NO SOUL FOR SALE, Tate Modern, London
I Found Myself an Innovator, curated by Rachel Cook/ Yuki Okumura, DiverseWorks, Houston Texas
The Young and Evil, REDCAT, curated by Stuart Comer
Murder Pretened, Festival Internacional Cervantino, curated by Naotaka Hiro, Guanajuato
The Young and Evil,, curated by Stuart Comer
Murder Pretended, Casa Vecina, curated by Naotaka Hiro, Mexico City, 2008Saison Video, “Physical”, “Portrait”, “ideal #10”,Roubaix, France
Artwalk After Party 2007, LACMA MUSE, Los Angeles
Inaugural Screening, c-level, Chinatown, Los Angeles
Good-Bye, Eniwetok, Beyond Baroque, Los Angeles
Carl’s Place 2, LACE, Los Angeles
Carl’s Place, Quon Bros., Los Angeles
Vitamin D3: Today's Best in Contemporary Drawing, Phaidon Press, 2021
Polar Star
, X–TRA Magazine, Fall/Winter 2020, Vol. 23, Number 1
Made in L.A. 2018
, exhibition catalog, 2018
RSVP Los Angeles: The Project Series at Pomona, exhibition catalog, Essay by Glenn Phillips, 2015
Where the Sand Worm Slumbers, exhibition catalog, 2015
To and From, with Sid M. Dueñas, 2008
Corona Issue no.1, with Sid M. Dueñas, 2006
Awards and Grants
Art Matters, 2014
The Asian and Pacific Islander Artist Presenting Initiative (API/2), 2006 
The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery Associates, The Eungie Joo/ REDCAT Award, 2004
Scholarship, California Institute of the Arts, 2000-2001


Artist Talk, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL, 2020
Artist Talk, MFA Fine Arts Lecture Series, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, 2020
Artist Talk, Reed College, Portland, 2016
Artist Talk, In Conversation with Glenn Phillips, Pomona College Museum of Art, Pomona, 2015
Artist Talk, Pomona College, Pomona, 2014
Podcast, Dialogue with artist Koki Tanaka, Kotobani su ru, 2009          
Curator Talk, Casa Vecina, Mexico City, June 26, 2008      
Artist Talk, University of California Irvine, Irvine, May 20, 2008 
Artist Talk, JACCC, Los Angeles, 2006       



'myselves': 4 artists on interpreting the body in the age of pandemic, Document Journal, 2020
At New Digital NADA Fair with Unusual Finance Model ART news, 2020
NADA's New Profit-Sharing Digital Art Fair to Launch Next Week, ARTFORUM, 2020
Nada launches new collaborative fair model to help support galleries, The Art Newspaper, 2020
NADA is Launching a Commercial New Online Art Fair for 2020
Dealers Who Will Equally share 20 Percent of All Sales, Artnet news, 2020
CalArts Realizes Its Tuition Is High - Carrie Mae Weems and More Alumni Wants to Help, W Magazine, 2020
CalArts Commisions Works by 50 Artist Alumni to Fund Scholarship, Hyperallergic, 2020
CalArts recruits alumni to create works financing student’s' scholarships, The Art Newspaper, 2020
CalArts Held an Opening of Its Alumni Benefit Show During Frieze L.A., Architectural Digest, 2020
Gold Circle: CalArts 50+50 Project Celebrates A Milestone, LA Weekly, 2020
THE 6 RISING ARTIST TO WATCH IN 2019, W Magazine, 2019
Marie de Brugerolle, POST-PERFORMANCE PAINTING, Mousse Magazine, Winter 2019
Kavior Moon, Art News, A Multiplicity of Perspectives, Art News
Jonathan Griffin, Made in L.A. 2018, art agenda
Matt Stromberg, Resolutely Political LA Artists Focus on the Body in the City's Latest Biennial, Hyperallergic
Jordan Riefe, Ambitious, Diverse and Topical: "Made in L.A. 2018" Is the Biennial We Need Right Now, LA Weekly
Richard Chang, 'Made in L.A.' the Hammer Museum Biennial, BlouinArtInfo
Travis Diehl, 'Made in L.A. 2018': Widely Inclusive and Brimming with Community Spirit, But Is It Too Earnest?,
Jennifer Piejko, Five Artists Not To Miss, LALAmag
Goings on about Town, Alan Shields Project, New Yorker, 2018
Dan Duray, Jeffrey Deitch and Gagosian Team up to Defeat Zombie Formalism, Vice, 2018
Will Whitney, Naotaka Hiro: Gibbous, The Brooklyn Rail, October 2017
Leah Ollman, The human cocoon: Naotaka Hiro's primal art, made from within, Los Angeles Times, January 2017
Eli Diner, Naotaka Hiro, Frieze, January 2017
Shana Nys Dambrot, Naotaka Hiro: Peaking at The Box, LA, Art and Cake, December 2017
Claire de Dobay Rifelj, Naotaka Hiro at The Box, CARLA, Contemporary Art Review LA, December 2017
Andy Campbell, Critic's Picks, Protuberances, Artforum, October 2016
Pierre-Henri Foulon, Le corps desarticule d'Alfred Jarry, La Quizaine Littéraire, February 2016
Orianne Hidalgo-Laurier, Corps (im)pur, Mouvement, October 2015
Rachel Holmes, Frieze 2015 Highlight: interview with Naotaka Hiro, The Metropolist, October 2015
Rachel Holmes, Frieze Art Fair 2015: 10 things we learned, The Metropolist, October 2015
Paul Carey Kent, Freize 2015 Paul Carey Picks His Favorite, artlyst, October 2015
Matt Stromberg, Men in LA: Three Generations of Drawings at The Box, Daily Serving, June 2014
Andrea Zittel/High Desert Test Site, Flash Art International, November-December, 2011
Catherine Taft, REVIEW, ARTFORUM, February, 2011
Catherine Taft, TOP 10 SHOWS IN LOS ANGELES, SAATCHI ONLINE, December 2010
Cathy Rose A. Garcia, Experimental Video at DoBaeBacSa, The Korea Times, February 11, 2009
Brutas magazine, Issue #651, December 2008
Esquire Magazine Japan, December 2008
CREA Traveller, Why not go to California?, P77-79, August 2008
Kathryn M. Davis, Los Angeles: Capital of Contemporary Art?, THE magazine, July 2008
Catherine Taft, Review on FIGURES, Modern Painters June 2008, p 94
Catherine Wagley, BODYSCAPES, ARTslant, 2008
Catherine Taft, ROUND-UP OF THE BEST SHOWS IN LA, The Saatchi Gallery Online, 2008
Catherine Taft, “Introducing”, Modern Painters, November 2007, p. 58-60
Studio Voice, July 2007, p.107
Gea Politi, Come with me, Prague Biennale1, 2003
David Pagel, Art Reviews, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, August 2000
Takashi Murakami, LA ART, Studio Voice, December 1998, p.114

Jun 22 2021link

Artillery - Gallery Rounds: Naotaka Hiro

Gallery Rounds: Naotaka Hiro 'Armor'
by Allison Strauss
June 22, 2021

read the full article here

Jun 15 2021link

KCRW Art Insider: Naotaka Hiro 'Armor'

1. Naotaka Hiro at The Box

Naotaka Hiro paints with his whole body. The artist often stands inside of holes cut into his canvas, wrapping the material around himself and painting in a tent-like cocoon. As such, each of his paintings on view downtown at The Box map the capacities—and limitations—of his own body.

Arranged in the center of the gallery are a series of freestanding large-scale paintings on panels, propped up on bases and arranged in a “U” shape. For these pieces, as well as a series of smaller works, Hiro suspended the panels horizontally two feet above the ground, and crawled below to create his initial marks. He then inverted the process, standing on top of the panel, and responding to the marks he made while contorted below them.

Hiro suffered from COVID-19 during the pandemic, and alongside the many social injustices that have occurred over the last year, he felt that his “body was crushed internally and externally.” Through his idiosyncratic process, this physicality and vulnerability become visually tracked—scratchy lines and bold colors clash as visceral forms slump and ruminate in tense fields of pattern and abstraction. In the center of the U of panels, a blue-painted bronze figure, cast from the artist’s own form, feels both feeble and strong—as Hiro’s painting practice involves exploring the capacity of his own body, the bronze work, titled “Armor,” becomes a stand-in for the artist himself, resilient and strong, even after a year of turmoil.

Feb 1 2019link

Naoaka Hiro in W Magazine

Jan 19 2017pdflink

Review: Naotaka Hiro


by Eli Diner

Jan 15 2017pdflink

Review: The human cocoon: Naotaka Hiro's primal art, made from within

Los Angeles Times

by Leah Ollman

Jan 10 2017pdflink

Naotaka Hiro 'Peaking' at The Box

Art and Cake

by Shana Nys Dambrot

Jan 26 2017pdflink

Snap Review: The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley at LACE

Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles

Claire de Dobay Rifelj

January 26, 2017

Jan 12 2017pdflink

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley

"The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley" at LACE featuring work by Naotaka Hiro

by Ezrha Jean Black


Dec 14 2016pdflink

Naotaka Hiro at The Box

Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles

by Claire de Dobay Rifelj

Oct 13 2016link

Artforum Critics' Picks: Protuberances



September 17 - October 29, 2016

by Andy Campbell

Oct 20 2015pdflink

Interview: Frieze London artist, Naotaka Hiro

The Metropolist

by Rachel Holmes

October 19, 2015

Apr 4 2015pdf

Naotaka Hiro: My Body, The Unknown Me

By Rosana Albertini

read online here

Jun 18 2014

Men in LA mentioned in LA Weekly

Men in LA featured as one of LA Weekly's 5 Artsy Things To Do:

Jun 13 2014pdf

Men in LA: Three Generations of Drawings at The Box

Written by Matt Stromberg

The Daily Serving


Read the article online here:

Dec 6 2011link

Nada Much

by Michael Zelehoski


Jun 1 2008pdflink


By Catherine Wagley
1 June 2008

Sep 7 2019

Naotaka Hiro at Brennan & Griffin

Subterranean & Wanderer 

September 7 – October 13, 2019

Brennan & Griffin, New York


Aug 4 2019

Naotaka Hiro at The Pit

Naotaka Hiro is featured in the group exhibition The Flat Files on view at The Pit, Los Angeles. 

Open to the public August 4 - 10, and by appointment through August 25, 2019. 

Apr 13 2019

Naotaka Hiro at Nonaka-Hill

Miho Dohi
Naotaka Hiro
Wataru Tominaga

April 13 – May 25, 2019
Reception: Saturday, April 13, 6 – 9 pm

details here

Jul 18 2018

Naotaka Hiro in Happy Mind - Natural High

Happy Mind - Natural High

Misako & Rosen

July 18 - August 26, 2018


Kaoru Arima / Cristina Tufiño / Naotaka Hiro / Lee Lozano / Stephen G Rhodes / Soshiro Matsubara

Feb 13 2018

Naotaka Hiro participating artist in Made in L.A.

Congratulations to Naotaka Hiro & the 31 other artists participating in The Hammer Museum’s fourth iteration of Made in L.A. 2018!

The exhibition will be on view June 3 - September 2, 2018

Jan 5 2018

Naotaka Hiro at Van Doren Waxter in New York

Alan Shields Project

January 5 - February 17, 2018

Lisa Alvarado, Cheryl Donegan, Aiko Hachisuka, Channing Hansen, Naotaka Hiro, Alan Shields, Martha Tuttle, B. Wurtz

more here

Jan 29 2017

Naotaka Hiro at Armory Center for the Arts

Naotaka Hiro is included in the upcoming group exhibition Between Words and Silence: The Work of Translation curated by Irene Tsatsos and Daniela Lieja at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena. 

Opening Reception Saturday, January 28, 7 - 9 PM. 

Exhibition on view January 29 - April 2, 2017. 

Jan 5 2017

Naotaka Hiro in 'The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley' at LACE

The Ecstasy of Mary Shelley

curated by Virginia Broersma, Nick Brown and Kio Griffith

January 5 - February 12, 2017

at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

Sep 27 2016

Naotaka Hiro in PLACEBOUND at Nan Rae

Naotaka Hiro is featured in PLACEBOUND, a group exhibit curated by Bia Gayotto, on view at Woodbury University's Nan Rae Gallery. Details here

Sep 17 2016

Naotaka Hiro at LAXART

Naotaka Hiro is featured in the group exhibition Protuberances

Curated by Catherine Taft and Jess Arndt

September 17 - October 29, 2016

Jun 23 2016

Naotaka Hiro in 'A Modest Proposal' at Hauser & Wirth in NY

A Modest Proposal
Lucas Blalock, Naotaka Hiro, Sanya Kantarovsky, Nicola L, Tala Madani, and Jakub Julian Ziolkowski

June 23 - July 29, 2016
Opening: Thursday, June 23, 2016, 6-8pm


Hauser & Wirth New York, 18th Street

more here

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May 7 2016

Naotaka Hiro 'Big Question' at Brennan & Griffin

on view May 3 - June 5, 2016

details here

Nov 8 2015

Naotaka Hiro in group exhibition at Brennan & Griffin

on view November 8 - December 20, 2015


Guy Goodwin, Heather Guertin, Naotaka Hiro, Dave McDermott, Jason Meadows

Sep 8 2013

Naotaka Hiro Solo Exhibition at Brennan & Griffin, New York

For more information, please visit Brennan & Griffin's website.

Press Release:


September 8 - October 20, 2013

Pit & Log
Brennan & Griffin is pleased to present Pit & Log an exhibition of new works by Naotaka Hiro.  Throughout Hiro's practice, the artist's body has served as the foundation for his exploration of the unknown.  The artist's body parts, only viewable through a mediated form such as a mirror or camera, become the impetus for investigation.  In previous works, the skull, intestines, and anus have been transmuted in various process and performance-based sculpture and video works.  For this exhibition, the artist's skin becomes the subject of interrelated drawings, sculptures, and video.
In the video The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips), (all works 2013), Hiro uses a latex cast of his head with a split through the face and a hole cut through the occiput. Worn as a mask with his gold-painted mouth fitting into the hole, the artist's lips move in an improvised sequence where the void within his mouth evokes the uncanny nature of a black hole.  Hiro's visceral performance combines an experience with stress-induced alopecia with the futakuchi-onna, a two-mouthed woman from Japanese folklore.  The artist manipulates his body, mask, and camera to create a composite image in order to merge the seen and unseen, human and synthetic.  
The Log is a bronze cast of half of the artist's body from left hand to right foot.  Here, the limitations of Hiro's reach serve as a topological map by which the artist records the "exploration" of a territorial path in attempting to replicate his body with his right hand.  While the bronze resembles a peeled or flattened skin, the process, time, and labor of its creation are imbued within the distortion and fragmentation of the finished work.  
Two Mouths, a latex, burlap, and steel sculpture, utilizes materials and props from The Pit (Dancer with Golden Lips), including the latex cast of Hiro's head, to create a loose, wraith-like form.  This shell or stand-in for the artist is illuminated through the ambient light of the video projection where the shadow image completes the figuration.  Groups of pencil and acrylic works on paper further illustrates the artist's process, serving as fragmented narratives and storyboards for his video and sculpture.  

Naotaka Hiro was born in Osaka, Japan and lives and works in Los Angeles.  He has previously mounted Solo Exhibitions at The Box, Los Angeles, Misako & Rosen and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, and has participated in Screenings and Group Exhibitions at The Tate Modern, London, Prague Biennial 1, Prague, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo among others.  This is Hiro's first Solo Exhibition with Brennan & Griffin.