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Number 1 Shimbun

Exhibition: "Board Shorts"



artwork by Yusuke Hanai


SINCE I WAS YOUNG, I have loved to draw, but becoming an artist or an illustrator never crossed my mind. My friends and I drew caricatures of people who we encountered in our daily lives, and shared those images among ourselves for a laugh.

I discovered surfing when I was in high school. The surfers I encountered were all unique, funny and sometimes utterly ridiculous. The characters fascinated me and became the subject of my drawings.

Now, I make my living as an illustrator. In the beginning, my drawings were heavily influenced by surfing and surf culture in general, but lately, I have expanded into other subjects and genres.

Surfer’s Journal Japan recently asked me to draw a series of single-panel illustrations for each issue. My subject matter is the interesting, often ridiculous, aspects of surfing. I have learned so much from surfing and surfers. I love how they live life with a passion, care about the environment, have a sense of adventure, care deeply about their friends and how they try not to get caught up or dragged into the system.

In this exhibition, I have displayed the illustrations from the Surfer’s Journal along with a few of my recent pieces.

Yusuke Hanai found passion in art after discovering Grateful Dead album cover artwork. He left Japan for the U.S. in 2003 to study illustration at the Academy of Art College, San Francisco. He was invited to participate in the 2007 Happening in New York City. Yusuke continues to capture the hearts of many people worldwide and has exhibited in Australia, Brazil, California, London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. Yusuke currently lives in Japan.


Published in: September 2015

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