With his shaved head, red body paint, and red costumes, Ken Hamazaki is known in Osaka’s Minami Senba district as “The Red Man”.
When he was twenty years old, Hamazaki traveled to England and after returning to Japan, opened a gallery to display his artwork in 1992 in Osaka’s Higashi Shinsaibashi area. In 1997, he moved the gallery to Minami Senba, painted the exterior and interior completely red and named it the Ken Hamazaki Museum of Contemporary Art, a title that, in Japanese, has the aggrandizing secondary meaning of the Hamazaki Prefectural Museum of Contemporary Art. In addition to holding exhibitions, his gallery sells interior decorative items and accessories, suggesting a fusion of art and lifestyle.
Hamazaki is involved in a wide range of activities both in Japan and abroad, including performing his Red Tea Ceremony and helping young artists produce their work. In his “Maze Paintings,” Hamazaki uses the idea of a labyrinth to depict the outline or shadow of celebrities. In his “Puzzle Paintings,” which often use the image of the Mona Lisa, he paints on each individual puzzle piece and assembles the puzzle into a single artwork. Hamazaki’s work is rich in playfulness and grants us a fresh perspective on images that we might otherwise never have seen.