Japanese, b. 1973, Shikoku, Japan / based in Tokyo, Japan
The streets of Tokyo and the world of Manga inspire Japanese artist Hiro Ando to create bold, vibrant sculptures. A true polyvalent artist, Ando emerged in 1995 as an illustrator and quickly began executing works in a variety of different media including painting, digital media, sculpture, and video. In 2005 himself and the artist Saori Nakamishi founded the neo-pop artist studio collective “Crazynoodles,
Fueled by endless happenings and rich diversity only a world-class metropolis like Tokyo can offer, Hiro Ando is a Japanese artist celebrated for his unique sculptural work that is not quite like anything else currently on the market. This multidisciplinary artist creates artworks that facilitate a special conjunction of the old and new. Ando mostly does this by relying on the traditional maneki-neko, standing for “lucky cat”within the Japanese mass culture, a motif Hiro constructs in figures of various forms, such as those of samurai, sumo wrestlers or robots.
“Drawing on ideas of collectability and fantasy,Japanese artist Hiro Ando combines tradition with contemporary culture in his sculpture work…. Ando’s editioned sculptures resemble enlarged toy cartoon characters and bear the names SumoCat, Samurai Cat, UrbanCat, and RobotCat. They’re mainly monochrome and glossy, a few are enrobed in rhinestones or hand-painted. Ando’s work is the creative fruit of Japanese mass culture. adsense ban. His cat figures are reminiscent of maneki-neko (literally, “beckoning cat”), a ubiquitous Japanese cultural icon symbolizing good luck; maneki-neko figurines can be found in nearly every souvenir store and restaurant in Japan. Ando’s cats also resemble a masculine version of Hello Kitty, another emblematic feline character that originated in Japan. Ando’s work shares the neo-pop spirit of Jeff Koons’s balloon dog figurines and Takashi Murakami’s “otaku” sculptures, though Ando’s sculptures do not convey the overt eroticism and darkness that much of Koons’ and Murakami’s work do. Ando expresses a lighter side of neo-pop, highlighting that contemporary art can be both fun and have wide appeal"
Makiko Whole – Publications Coordinator at The Museum of Modern Art New York , New York