In Hiraki Sawa’s Airliner, airplanes glide gracefully across the pages of an open blank book as a hand turns the pages at a varying speed. This action recalls a flip book, yet, in Sawa’s work, the airplanes are digitally inscribed rather than hand-drawn. The density of airplanes and their continual movement suggests both global transit and ominous congestion. Yet, the fleet of planes also conveys the sense of an aerial show, layering Sawa’s imagery with a sense of entertainment and play.
Hiraki Sawa was born in Ishikawa, Japan, in 1977 and lives and works in London. In 2003, he earned an MA in sculpture from the Slade School of Fine Art in London after receiving a BFA in sculpture from the University of East London in 2000. Well known for creating his films in his own apartment, Sawa transforms domestic interiors into settings for musings on the mechanics of motion and fantastically surreal events. Using hand-drawn and digital animation techniques, Sawa amplifies the mundane, breathing life into static objects. Solo exhibitions and screenings of Sawa’s work have been shown at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the Hammer Museum; the Frist Center for the Arts, Nashville; and the Hayward Gallery in London.