Kazu Hiro | LA ART SHOW

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Courtesy Kazu Hiro ![Courtesy Kazu Hiro](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bc6ce38189dbb7f15d19_FLAUNT%2BMAGAZINE%2BKazu%2BHiro%2B%257C%2BLA%2BART%2BSHOW%2Blincoln.jpeg) Courtesy Kazu Hiro The face is the canvas and the narrative is brought to life by Oscar-nominated make-up artist, [Kazu Hiro](https://www.instagram.com/kazustudios/). Hiro meticulously researches characters in order to capture their expressions within a sculpture or the dynamic practice of visual effects makeup. Hiro was recently nominated for an Academy Award for the Charlize Theron-to-Megyn Kelly transformation in the film, _Bombshell_. The LA Art Show will be featuring a variety of Hiro’s hyperrealist sculptures that bring Hiro’s artisanal imagineering into a vivid, three-dimensional experience. **Your makeup is very fine-tuned in the aging process, (we can see that through the seamless deaging of Brad Pitt in _The Curious Case of Benjamin Button_ to transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill.) What is the particular element you find beautiful in the aging process?**  It’s really dependent on the story of the film that translates to the makeup. I will try to understand what happened to the character and usually try to revolve it around aging gracefully.  Essentially, I always prepare for the sculpture or the final makeup with research. I always try to have respect for the characters. > [ > > View this post on Instagram > > ](https://www.instagram.com/p/B8K0BINJ6jh/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading) > > [LA ART SHOW laartshow.com From tomorrow to 9th at LA convention center my past pieces near ticket booth and new pieces will be at Copro gallery booth #1213 #lincoln #dali #frida #jimihendrix #portrait #sculpture #kazuhiro @coprogallery @laartshow](https://www.instagram.com/p/B8K0BINJ6jh/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading) > > A post shared by [Kazu Hiro](https://www.instagram.com/kazustudios/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading) (@kazustudios) on Feb 4, 2020 at 6:51pm PST **What is one piece you have worked on that symbolizes everything you wanted to be as a child, growing up and admiring artisans in Kyoto?**  (laughs) What I’m most proud of? Ooooh, I mean, I don’t know I cannot tell the one thing that I’m most proud of because I believe whatever I create is an answer for that moment. Every year it changes. As I grow older, I don’t know if I’m getting better or not so I cannot just point out one thing. It’s more of a transitional thing but I always try to make the present one better than the last, whether it’s a portrait or makeup.  **You recently worked on Charlize Theron for _Bombshell_ that simulated a physical likeness and realistic quality to the news anchor Megyn Kelly, in what ways does let's say working on emulating the likeness of a chimp in _The Planet of the Apes_ or creating the Grinch spark some similarities or differences between the process that goes into resembling the likeness of an existing person?**  They are totally different because you know a chimp or  the Grinch are basically these created characters. But the likeness makeup and especially a currently living person is a bit more difficult because everyone knows what they look like, like Charlize and Megyn. I really have to pay attention to the design and the likeness because it is impossible to make it perfectly look alike. What is important is trying to make Charlize look like Megyn and also trying to keep the beauty of Charlize, the whole thing is a balance.  Courtesy Kazu Hiro ![Courtesy Kazu Hiro](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bc6ce38189dbb7f15d15_image-asset.jpeg) Courtesy Kazu Hiro **What do you personally do to not lose patience when you are working on such an extraneous, extremely delicate work of art?**  (laughs) To not lose patience? I just try to push myself and try to understand why I’m doing it. That understanding of the purpose of my life and the reason why I’m doing it will give me the reason to be patient about it. Also, I love creating pieces and creating makeup, there’s nothing to complain about. It’s a great thing that I found this voice or story to tell, that helps me not to be impatient.  **In the film work you have done, are the teams involved in those films usually wanting to stick to actual makeup effects versus opting into CGI deaging? There’s a signature art in what you do that I think cannot be personally replicated through computer engineering.**  It can be seen as the difference between acting behind a blue screen or actually being in the environment. When you use CGI, they can do so much stuff that makeup cannot do but there’s a big difference. With us, we are always looking at real humans, how they behave, and what they look like and of course computer people try to study that and do that but there is a skill and understanding with what human beings really are. Our responsibility to fool audiences, not to take them away from the story that they are watching. If the makeup or CGI is not working then they will ultimately be turned off by it.  Courtesy Kazu Hiro ![Courtesy Kazu Hiro](https://cdn.prod.website-files.com/62ee0bbe0c783a903ecc0ddb/6472bc6ce38189dbb7f15d12_FLAUNT%2BMAGAZINE%2BKazu%2BHiro%2B%257C%2BLA%2BART%2BSHOW%2BDaliclose%2Bcopy.jpeg) Courtesy Kazu Hiro **You are displaying some of your sculptural pieces at the LA Art Show, which is focusing on highlighting the works of Latin American and Asian artists, describe your process in creating a hyperrealist sculpture?**  Once I decide on the subject, I will start to do research (reading a story or watching a documentary) and then I will start to sculpt the life-size as I incorporate the information I learned in creating what I want to say about this person. After I decide on the expression and how I want to present them, I do a 3-D scan of a life-size sculpture and enlarge it two times bigger. I duplicate that by making a model of that 3-D printer and put the glaze inside of the mold. Then, I refine it and put the texture on, make the mold of it. Make the base, finetune the hair, create the eyeballs, then finalize it.  **Most people see your work through the lens of a film screen, how do you think the experience of seeing your sculptures in a live perspective differ from that of viewing it in a movie theater seat?**  It’s quite different because in a movie, you sit in a chair and watch a two-dimensional image so the audience can observe and watch what you created. With sculpture, it’s three-dimensional and people can walk around and see it up close in a different way. Also, their height will affect what they are looking at too. The thing about viewing a sculpture is similar in the difference between watching a film and watching a stage play or live performance. An audience’s mentality will always affect what they are looking at so when I sculpt I don’t try to sculpt just one moment of their expressions, I try to put lots of different sides of one person into one sculpture. If they approach it from one direction it may look different, and usually what happens is their emotional state will reflect back to them as they look at the sculpture. In a way, it’s up to the audience to decide what they get from the portrait. It’s quite like a metamorphosis, because the timing and the situation will change what they are looking at. * * * Kazu Hiro will be at [Copro Gallery](http://www.copronason.com) booth in [LA ART SHOW](https://www.laartshow.com) from February 5 to 9th | LA Convention Center 1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015