Manabu Ogawa is a wire artist known as HAyU. In January 2020, he launched “+HAyU fabric”, a textile brand expressing his unique interpretation of wire art that attracts people of all ages and can be freely arranged as decorators like. In 2021, Kokka-fabric interviewed Ogawa to coincide with release of his second series of +HAyU Fabric.
I made a bighorn sheep with curled horns.
▲Ogawa’s first work: bighorn sheep
I referred to my son’s pictorial animal book published by Gakken.
My then-2-year-old son was excited and said “Uma, Uma (horse, horse)”. I thought I would make a horse next.
There are many ways wire can be shaped. In my case, I make it without a rough sketch. When I make an animal wire sculpture, I start by making its eye balls. The size of eyes determines the whole size of sculpture.
My wife used to work at H.P. FRANCE, the organizer of the event. It was good timing when I visited her co-worker to show my works. That’s where I got an offer to exhibit mine at the coming event.
▲ Ogawa’s debut exhibition at the Aosando Art Fair
I was a horticultural farmer of cut flowers. So, I had created one sculpture every few months before the exhibition. After then, however, I had to make 30 sculptures within a few months while doing my main job as a farmer. It was hectic, but such a great opportunity kept me motivated.
▲ Demonstration at the Aosando Art Fair
It motivates me most that there are people who enjoy displaying my works. At the beginning of my career as an artist, my sculptures were featured by the interior stylist Kanae Ishii and the actress Yuriko Ishida. I always remind myself to do a better job to live up to the praises of those wonderful ladies.
My artworks reflect my own experiences as well as the connection with the environment or people. I have no schooling or experience in art, but I have a lot of different experiences: working as a hairstylist; a farmer; urban life in Tokyo; and country life in Ibaraki. I always seek to approach my creation from the perspective that the art experts have never experienced.
I really like showing the real products, meeting customers or event staffs in person, and showcasing my works in an event venue I cannot set up.
▲ His exhibition at CASICA in December 2020
The concept of HAyU is “the variable art per decorator”. That’s what my workshop (currently on hiatus) is designed for each participant to arrange the wire art. I enjoy encountering unexpected arrangements. It is the moment of surprise and learning.
“Making HAyU” and “decorating HAyU” is completely different. I still have a lot to learn about decorating. So, those pictures are very helpful.
I instantly thought, “It sounds fun! I want to do it!”, because I would not be able to make textiles by myself.
HAyU’s signature is the wire animal head sculpture. I had no intention to change my concept even for textile designs. So, I made a wire sculpture first to design textiles.
When I purposely flattened out the three-dimensional wire sculpture to create two-dimensional design for textile, I was excited to rediscover the parts of wire that would not have been drawn in the painting. And, textile is a complex combination of several elements such as design, color scheme, types of fabrics and threads. That’s why textile design is very deep and interesting.
With more experiences, I will hopefully be able to predict what will happen. The design and color scheme determine how textile look. Sometimes, the pre-production sample comes out different from what I expect. It is still difficult to make exactly what I image.
It was my first challenge with no experience. Actually, I had spent more time on meetings and modifications on how to make textiles. Therefore, the first product thrilled me!
What do you think when you see how your textiles are being used?
The wire sculptures, which were adopted as the patterns of textiles, were made for my sons*. So, I am glad that some people use my textiles to make their children’s clothes. I also see many posts featuring my “cat” textile together with real cats. It’s fun to see.
*The brand name “HAyU” is the coined word coming from the initials of Ogawa’s two sons.
For the first series, Ms. Yamane of Kokka was great help for me because I had no idea about textile design. For the second series, I got help from her again. The new series reflects what I wanted to have and I wanted to make. Accordingly, I chose colors for some prints to obscure the patterns. There are also prints of which patterns are clearly visible only through the light. In addition, this series includes a few textiles with large motifs, which generate a completely different look depending on the creator.
As for the wire art, I will keep making wire sculptures to try different styles I want to do. I also have plans to collaborate with private sectors or creators for the projects such as making a new artwork or space decorating. As for textile design, I’m going to design home décor fabrics.
Currently events are not allowed due to the COVD-19 pandemic. But I am encouraged by seeing many posts of the sewing projects made with +HAyU fabric. I look forward to your continued creations and posts. Thank you.
▲ Decorating the site for giveaways