"Connect People Thru Art Beyond Borders"
Masaaki Hasegawa is a modern conceptual artist based in Madrid, originally from Tokyo, Japan. He is the ambassador of the Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy in Moscow, Russia, and the founder of the project Connect People Thru Art Beyond Borders, a social-goal driven project to connect people regardless of nationality, language, religion, gender, or generation. For this project, he has exhibited in six different countries. In September 2018, Masaaki created the largest calligraphy artwork in Europe, at 1,926 square meters, on the rooftop of Zapadores Museum in Madrid, Spain. (It was the biggest calligraphy artwork in the world until November 2018.)
Masaaki creates conceptual artwork based on letters that people feel rather than read. Today, we live in a world where human beings have technologies to connect to each other, but the world is full of conflicts and barriers. Language is one of the greatest tools in history for communication, but at the same time, it is an obstacle. For example, if one communicates in Japanese, it would be difficult or impossible for non-Japanese speakers to understand or communicate in return. As an artist, one of the most important questions Masaaki asks of today’s global society is, “What are roles of language in the twenty-first century?” In order to overcome the obstacle of language barriers, as a calligraphy artist, Masaaki explores the source of language, disrupts the concept of it, and expresses the pure experience that are not interpreted by linguistic expression.
Galerie Perahia (Mar 2017, Paris)
Orellana 5 (Apr 2017, Madrid)
Writers Madrid (Aug 2017, Madrid)
Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy (Sep 2017, Moscow)
CAOTICS (Sep 2017, Madrid)
BECURIOUS (Oct 2017, Madrid)
Paper Pavilion x ECOALF (Nov 2017, Madrid)
LetstockaboutArt (Dec 2017, Madrid)
Bauhaus Center (Jan 2018, Tel-Aviv)
Writers Madrid (Jan 2018, Madrid)
Google Campus Madrid (Jan 2018, Madrid)
We Crave (Jan 2018, Madrid)
Tokyo Camii (Feb 2018, Tokyo)
Galerie Perahia (Feb 2018, Paris)
Urvanity Art (Feb 2018, Madrid)
WeWork (Mar 2018, Madrid)
IE Business School (Apr 2018, Madrid)
Le Zyriab by Noura (Apr 2018, Paris)
C.A.L.L.E (May 2018, Madrid)
Walllworks (May 2018, Paris)
La Central in Reina Sofia Museum (May 2018, Madrid)
COHETE TOLEDO (Jun 2018, Madrid)
Unit.City (July 208, Kyiv)
IZONE (July 2018, Kyiv)
KAMA(July, 2018, Kyiv)
Espirdo (Aug 2018, Segovia)
AkT (Sep 2018, Kyiv)
Zapadores (Sep 2018, Madrid)
South Summit (Oct 2018, Madrid)
Centro Sefarad (Oct 2018, Madrid)
Impact Hub (Nov 2018, Madrid)
Camelot (Dec 2018, Tokyo)
Hall of Fame (Feb 2019, Madrid)
Satorisan (Feb 2019, Madrid)
Invisible (Feb 2019, Madrid)
Kharkiv State Academy of Design and Arts (June 2019, Kharkiv)
Japan Weekend (Sep 2019, Madrid)
Alma Sensai (Dec 2019, Madrid)
Red Cross Madrid (Jan 2020, Madrid)
Palacio de los Barrantes-Cervantes (Mar 2020, Trujillo)
Fundacio FIE (Mar 2020, Madrid)
Solonia Art Center (Apr 2020, China)
The Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy is an art institution promoting the unique art of fine writing on an international scale. We are proud to have calligraphy works from authors from every corner of the globe. Each author does not only represent his or her culture but also puts his own vision and temperament into the artworks. With the works of Masaaki Hasegawa our collection will be enriched with a rare mixture of Oriental background with European zeal and his personal out of the box approach and creativity. They will definitely be a valuable addition to our collection.
Anastasia Moiseyeva, Development Manager
Contemporary Museum of Calligraphy
When thinking about Masaaki, whom I have known for a few years, I recall this famous Jewish proverb, “don't be wise in words be wise in deeds”. This is what Masaaki lives by, his creative deeds are his source of life, in everything he does.
Masaaki’s past may surprise you; He has been a professional fighter, a coach, an author, a speaker, a consultant, a Buddhist monk, and a calligrapher. Masaaki finds inspiration for creativity in these many different disciplines of life: sports, art, humanity, nature, science and technology. These mixture of topics is natural for him, it is his natural way of thinking; a Renaissance of creativity, merging these different disciplines together.
Masaaki often finds inspiration in street culture; a subculture of people differentiating themselves from modern society, rebelling against the traditions and common beliefs. Thus, it is understandable that he admires graffiti and street art as the ultimate creative act liberated from the art market, the rules, tradition, and systems and methods –hence, total creativity.
However, Masaaki is not a street artist; his Japanese origin has led him to the world of Zen and Calligraphy, which he has been practicing for many years. How does one balance the free spirit of the street art world and the structure and discipline of the calligraphy world? It seems Masaaki has found his way through creating what he calls, Calligraffiti, a mix of painting with Calligraphy. Calligraffiti entails writing words, sentences and proverbs, in a passionate way, on canvas, paper, and even glasses.
For the untrained eye/ordinary viewer, Calligraffiti might seem as if it is just doodling on canvas, but Masaaki places a message in each of these art works – a message to himself and a message to the world. This message is revealed to the viewer in two ways, firstly if they take time to read the art work and secondly the message might also revel itself to the viewer if they immerse themselves in his works.
When I asked Masaaki, why he decided to develop his private calligraphy works into a painting-like art, that he shares with others, he talked about the humanistic spirit of creativity: “I keep creating things to demonstrate that many of us can be creative regardless of experience.”
It made me reflect on our society’s beliefs. We tend to believe that there is a school for creativity, creativity Gurus or creative authorities. However, it is sometimes about just allowing yourself to be courageous, open, and accepting. It is about exploring and just doing creativity. Just like Masaaki does.
Nir Hindi, Founder of The Artian, Founding Member of Board of Trustees
Petach Tikva Museum of Art
Masaaki Hasegawa has produced an art work consisting of a repetitive, six-colored arabesque pattern that stretches across the entire window of the Bauhaus Center in Tel Aviv (approximately three by five meters). From afar, the pattern resembles fireworks. On a closer look, the individual elements within it seem to resemble characters of an unknown alphabet that form words in an undetermined language. Small round, triangular or rectangular "windows" within the pattern, referencing basic forms habitually used by Bauhaus artists, allow pedestrians walking along the busy Dizengoff Street a clear view of the Bauhaus Center's interior, as well as a view of the street from within. This cheerful, kaleidoscopic painting has an immediate positive and optimistic impact on its viewers.
Micha Gross, Co-Founder and Director of Bauhaus Center Tel-Aviv