A Serendipitous Encounter with Hiroshi Senju: Insights from this iconic Japanese Artist

A Serendipitous Encounter with Hiroshi Senju: Insights from this iconic Japanese Artist

Over the weekend, I visited the galleries at Gillman Baracks and was delighted to discover that the Sundaram Tagore Gallery was exhibiting Hiroshi Senju, a phenomenal Japanese artist whose work first captivated me back in 2019 at Sydney Contemporary. As I perused his stunning creations, I was overjoyed to hear that he was coming to do an artist talk.


Hiroshi Senju, born in Tokyo in 1958, is renowned for his breathtaking waterfall paintings and has achieved international acclaim for his mastery of the medium. Throughout his career, Senju has been deeply inspired by nature, particularly waterfalls, which he captures with remarkable depth and serenity.


His unique approach involves using all natural pigments and traditional Japanese techniques to create ethereal and immersive artworks. With numerous exhibitions worldwide and so many accolades including the prestigious Kyoto Prize, Senju continues to captivate audiences with his evocative interpretations of the natural world. So you can totally understand how rare it is to see him speak.




Senju was captivating. He spoke passionately about his use of natural materials, the delicate balance between art and science and the impact COVID-19 had on his artistic journey.


Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the crazy lockdowns he endured in New York, Senju found solace and inspiration in the enduring beauty of nature. How no matter what happens in the world, the flower will continue to bloom. She shared how being inside for the pandemic inspired him to embrace the beauty of nature’s colours even more and why in his last works he has used so much colour.


As his wife beautifully translated his words, he fondly remarked that she wonderfully handles everything in his life, allowing him to focus solely on his art—a testament to the power of partnership and support in the creative process. You know how much I love a love story <3



There was a beautiful moment when Senju’s spoke of his artistic vision. He shared that when he gazes upon a blank canvas, the artwork is already fully formed in his mind. His role, he explained, is simply to transpose that vision onto the canvas, allowing viewers to experience the same sense of awe and wonder that inspired him.





As Senju talked about his latest works, it became evident that he is not only a master of traditional techniques but also an innovator willing to embrace new technologies. He described how he incorporated black light and fluorescent pigments into his recent pieces, pushing the boundaries of his craft and exploring new realms of expression.



The entire experience left me feeling joyfully inspired. Senju’s art has always held a special place in my heart, but hearing him speak so passionately about his work and witnessing the depth of his creativity firsthand was truly magical. As I reflect on the moment, I can’t help but feel a renewed sense of appreciation for the beauty and wonder of the world around us—and a quiet determination to chase my own creative dreams with the same passion for the vision and the true art.


I always find myself transported to a place of calm and wonderment when I gazed at his pieces. Each brushstroke, each delicate detail invites you to immerse myself in the world of waterfalls, nature, wonder and the gravity of the paint falling down the canvas – to look beyond the surface and discover the hidden depths within and beyond. Ok, I think I am going a bit deep now but I hope you totally feel where I am coming from 🙂


So, I dare to dream of day having a Senju masterpiece gracing the walls of my home (in my mind it is already placed beautiful in my entrance), a tangible reminder of the power of art to touch our souls and illuminate our lives.


As I invite you to join me on this journey of discovery, I pose a question: What speaks to you more deeply—the timeless elegance of Senju’s black-and-white works, or the vibrant hues of his latest creations? The answer, and what I love most about art, is that it is totally personal and and everything evokes a different emotion for everybody.


I wish I had my SLR with me as my pics really don’t do his works any justice, however, I do hope I have encouraged you to Google him and go and try and see some of his works in person.


Big love,

Aisha xox

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