Mutsuo Hirano (Hyōgo – Japan, 1952) is an international artist of Japanese origin who lives and works between Berlin and Italy, near Orvieto.
Closely related to his own biographical events, his artistic research is centred on the prevalent use of terracotta, a primitive material full of meanings and references, with which he creates sculptures and ceramic artefacts of symbolic value and strongly evocative, drawing on shapes and stylistic elements, symbols and objects freely derived from an imaginary linked both to Oriental and Western culture, in a fascinating mixture that generates a sought-after cultural melting pot.
In this new project entitled ROBOT – ロボット and specifically designed for the exhibition space of the Vetrya Corporate Campus, the artist triggers a visual and meaning short-circuit between the concepts of "tradition" and "modernity", relating heads and busts of demons and ancient idols referable to the Eastern tradition, shapes and images that look at Renaissance art or Etruscan archaeology, with very personal representations of alien creatures and modern robots.
According to Hirano, the idea of the robot comes from afar: for the ancients, they were the votive statues, then the plastic representations of the Saints inside the churches, which were able to create a direct spiritual connection between the man and the divine. Today they are sophisticated devices capable of conversing, understanding and reacting to emotions.
One of the robots on exhibition reinterprets the features of Pepper, the humanoid symbol of technological progress from Japan. Made of terracotta, it brings together the Golem Jewish legend, a clay statue animated by Kabbalistic magic, and the futuristic idea of a reality populated by humanoid beings endowed with artificial intelligence.
In an emblematic encounter-clash between past and future, natural and artificial, questions and reflection points of great and alarming topicality are thus opened.