Japanese Artist Hiroyuki Doi

Report in the "art on paper" magazine by Edward Gomez

"Hiroyuki Doi is a self-taught Japanese artist who was born in Nagoya in1946. His first solo show in the United States presented his signature, untitled ink drawings in varied formats, from small works depicting single blob-like forms to larger, multi-panel pieces that recall ancient painted screens or hanging scrolls.

Doi, a master chef who works at a leading Tokyo hotel restaurant, began making drawings on washi paper and Arches sheets about three years ago. His technique amplifies and elaborates upon the simplest of forms - the circle - to create swirling, cloud-like shapes that float or tremble in the generous pictorial space of his abstract, meditative images. Using only black, fine-point, felt-tipped pens, Doi creates thickets of connecting, meandering circles, from tiny dots to sprawling agglomerations of bubbly, bobbing cells. The visual textures of the well-modeled forms belie the paper's flatness and each work's simple manufacture.
Like relief maps otherworldly surfaces - they could be imaginary islands or oddly shaped planets - they pull a viewer's gaze
in to explore the character and details of what look like lunar craters, eddies, ridges, or bays.

In the 1970s, Doi began visiting museums in Europe to teach himself about Western art history. Similarly, he familiarized
himself with the structural, aesthetic, and stylistic traditions of East Asian painting. However, in his own work, the artist
does not intentionally emulateany known technique or style. Coincidentally, though, the spirit of Doi's autodidactic art
shares subtle affinities with that of postwar Japan's Gutai art movement.

art on paper
The Gutai artists were pioneering performanceand installation artists, many of whom made experimental abstract paintings and works on paper that defied easy classification. Similarly, Doi's work falls into the broad, international tradition of ambiguously expressiv abstraction as appropriately as it does into the still-permuting category of work by self-taught artist that Phillis Kind has been investigating and bringing forward for more than three decades."

Edward Gomez in the "art on paper" magazine, Vol. 7, No. 6, April 2003, page 62