Portrait photo of Hideaki Kawashima in a black sweater

Hideaki Kawashima

Soothing renditions of the ever-ambiguous human experience.

“Each painting was an act of suffering. Until I was done with one piece, I couldn’t move on to the next one.”

Hideaki Kawashima uses portraiture to expose the ambiguities of human life. Rendered in subdued palettes of seamlessly-blended oils, his wide-eyed characters express a spectrum of emotions: fear, desire, angst, longing. Said emotions, however, are never singular or overt. Similarly, androgynous facial features set gender identities in flux and small ghost-like creatures symbolise the blurred bound...

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Hideaki Kawashima (he/him) was born in 1969 in Aichi, Japan, and now lives and works in Tokyo.


Kawashima was commissioned by FIFA to create the official print edition for the Brazil World Cup in 2013, where his work featured alongside that of artists such as William Kentridge, Antonia Bandeira, Keith Haring and Fernand Léger.

Did you know?

Before beginning his artistic career in 2001, Kawashima trained in classical Buddhism at Hieizan Enryakuji Temple and was a practicing monk for two years.

Collaborations with Hideaki Kawashima