Born in 1947, in Holualoa on the Island of Hawaii, Hiroki Morinoue received his BFA degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA) in 1973. Traveling to Japan in 1976 and 1982, he studied sumi brush painting under Koh Ito Sensei and woodblock under Takashi Okubo Sensei.
Though the landscape of Hawaii its rocks, skies, and water has probably been his single most important influence, the spare aesthetic of Japanese art is also fully evident in his work. In all of Morinoue's work there is a compelling sense of place. He is a patient observer of nature, the rhythms of the ocean shoreline, the fluidity of lava flows, patterns of light on water and he transforms these observations to a variety of works, including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics and woodblock prints.
Hiroki Morinoue has shown widely in the United States and Japan. He has completed several major public art commissions, including projects at the Honolulu Public Library, and for the Hawaii Convention Center in 1996-97 he executed a 90 foot mural auka, Makai. In 1996 he was designated a Living Treasure of Hawaii by the Honpa Hongawanji Mission.
Morinoue's work is represented in the collections of The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, The Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Hawaii State Federation for Culture and the Arts Collection, Neiman-Marcus in Honolulu, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, The National Parks Collection, Maryland, Ueno No Mori Museum, Tokyo, and others.
Through time simple elements become syllables in compound expressions that evolve into complex systems of idea and form. The captured image proceeds, becoming an aspect of composition, then finally a module of pattern, a mark of history in an exposition of time, place and mind.
As our world grows smaller, cultures collide and common languages emerge, integrating gods, demons, archetypes, and icons. Under the best circumstances, a lingua franca evolves a universal language derived from the distinctive attributes and unique subtleties of diverse languages. Hiroki Morinoue is the architect of such a language.