November 8, 2007
Graphic designer and painter
Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on November 2007
Born and raised in Tokyo, 44-year-old Masahiro Gono was a surfing aficionado during his youth and still takes his inspiration from nature.
What got you started in painting?
Ever since I was young, I enjoyed being creative and loved to draw. I was always fully able to express my feelings and thoughts in paintings and drawings. High school was when I started using airbrushes—to give a painting to a girl I liked in my class!
What do you try and express in your work?
The paintings express my hopes for all people to live a life full of happiness. In this day and age, the more convenient technology becomes and the more it controls society, people actually become lonelier. That’s why I want my drawings to be heartwarming and make people happy.
What is your lifestyle like in Japan?
I organize exhibitions from time to time and express myself and my thoughts through drawings, paintings, objects and slides. I also run a graphic design business where I create product logos and character designs for packages.
How would you like to challenge yourself in the future?
I want to continue creating art along the lines of the wall painting I did for the Zuisho-ji temple in Tokyo. Paintings don’t just exist in museums—they’re everywhere, making our lives exciting and more enjoyable.
Any messages to our readers?
When I was young, my elders gave me hopes and dreams, and I’d like to do the same for the younger generation by showing them that an amazing life awaits them in the future.
Where can we see you and your work?
I will be having an exhibition called “Pop Rock Town 2007” at the Zuisho-ji Darumado Gallery in Shirokanedai (3-2-19 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku). The show takes place November 17 and 18 from 11am to 7pm and November 19 from 11am-3pm. I also produce the artwork for a stylish restaurant chain called Pancake Days (www.pancakedays.jp), which has four locations in Tokyo and Yokohama.