Christian Hidaka, the Art of Influence

The British painter, born in Japan, takes the viewer across the continents, making references to various movements in the history of art.


WordsHenri Robert

Christian Hidaka - “The Conjuror” (2020)

Christian Hidaka reorganises temporality, lines, and the codes of painting. Some of the influences are clear and the artist’s paintings remind the viewer of the work of the great names and schools in the history of art. However, his work cannot be reduced to this combination of references.

Born in Noda in 1977 to a Japanese mother and a British father, Christian Hidaka settled in the UK, where he studied at the Winchester School of Fine Arts, then at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, after a period spent at Parsons School of Design in New York: quite the prestigious academic background.


‘A poetics of anachronism’

Born Christian Ward, he decided to change his name in 2007 after meeting someone on a walk who had the same name as him. The artist, who now resides in the UK, chose to replace his surname with Hidaka, which means ‘from the sun.’ This influence and the importance of his country of birth can be found particularly in some of his canvases, such as The Conjuror (2020) and Pergola (2013), which feature geisha. They can also be seen in Gathering Peaks (2019), in which the viewer observes a mountain landscape borrowed from ukiyo-e (the art of Japanese prints), revisited with a psychedelic twist.

Beyond his technical expertise, Christian Hidaka’s art is based on his ability to bring together figures and planes, and to open doors and windows onto references and art schools. At first sight, his work draws on the Italian Renaissance, its geometry, its theatricalised settings, and the masks found in Venetian painting. However, it is also marked by the influence of Giorgio de Chirico and Pablo Picasso, and techniques specific to Chinese and Japanese painting. It’s a story, a mysterious narrative in which the lines of flight guide the eye and carry it towards other worlds.

Without losing any sleep over dogmas and by surfing with disconcerting ease between different cultural arenas, Hidaka works at geographically and geometrically off-centring things—a poetics of anachronism‘, wrote Raphaël Brunel on the occasion of an exhibition at the Galerie Michel Rein, which represents the artist.


Christian Hidaka’s work can be viewed on his website and on that of the Galerie Michel Rein.

Christian Hidaka - 'Gathering Peaks' (2019)

Christian Hidka - 'Players' (2017)

Christian Hidaka - 'Siparium' (2020)