The “Hiraku Project” is conceived as a series of exhibitions introducing contemporary artworks by Pola Art Foundation Grant recipients. The exhibitions are to be held at the Atrium Gallery, recently established to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Pola Museum of Art. “Hiraku” translates as ‘open,’ in the sense of ‘responsive to new possibilities.’ We are pleased to present Youki Hirakawa’s “Nitrate Dreams” as the 6th exhibition in our HIRAKU Project.

We are pleased to present Youki Hirakawa’s “Nitrate Dreams” as the sixth installment of the Pola Museum of Art Atrium Gallery’s HIRAKU Project. Hirakawa is primarily a video artist who use of film conveys the theme of time as it dwells in places and objects. In recent years, his approach to ‘film’ as a concept and as a material strongly evokes themes of life, death, memory, and historical record.


The inspiration for Hirakawa’s “Nitrate Dreams” series presented here was a strip of film he came across at an antique market. The image in the severely damaged film fragment seemed to be in a state of disintegration. Hirakawa carefully lifted the image in water to extract its silver particles. He then used the silver particles to construct a new image for his video work “Grains of Film – Silver Nitrate”. Another work, the thought provoking “Three Minutes of Silver”, is a small mass cast from particles Hirakawa extracted from a three-minute film segment.


The process Hirakawa employs recalls the fact that until the 1940s the film industry used to recycle film and recast the silver. It also brings to mind practices of alchemy, such as ‘distillation’ and ‘reduction.’


The medium of film was created in anticipation of recording and preserving images for posterity. Despite expectations, however, the material of film degrades with time and eventually disintegrates. The extraction of particles (tangibles) and images (intangibles) from small fragments of film for “Nitrate Dreams” is an attempt to give realization to the original vision entrusted to film.



1983 Born in Aichi, Japan
2008 Completed the Postgraduate Course, Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences


Solo Exhibitions
2012 Timeless and Silentness, Standing Pine, Aichi
2013 Silence of Nature / Nature of Silence, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
Until You Fall into a Deep Sleep, Minokamo City Museum, Gifu
2014 Event Horizon, Standing Pine, Aichi
In Remembrance of Disappearance, MOT / ARTS, Taipei, Taiwan
2015 Unseen / Unscene, Kunstverein Wolfenbüttel, Wolfenbüttel, Germany
Same Places, Different PhasesーEnergy, Matter and Time, Kunstkraftwerk, Leipzig, Germany
Close Your Eyes, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
Into a Horizon, White Rainbow, London 2016 Secret Fire, Anima-Mundi, St. Ives, UK
2017 Shadow of Film, Standing Pine, Aichi
The Better Way Back to the Soil, Double Square Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2018 Until It Becomes a Film Sing in a Loud Voice, ANDO GALLERY, Tokyo


Group Exhibitions
2012 International Video Art Festival Now & After’12, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
Ko-InーLights, Shadows and Timeー, Okazaki Mindscape Museum, Aichi
2013 Stranger, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan
Aichi Triennale 2013, Nagoya and Okazaki, Aichi
2014 Daily Reflections, Total Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul
Sapporo International Art Festival 2014, Sapporo, Hokkaido
2016 Pola Museum Annex 2016, Pola Museum Annex, Tokyo
KAAT’s Unexpected Museum 2016, Kanagawa Arts Theatre, Kanagawa
KAUNAS MENE, Kaunas, Lithuania
19th DOMANI: The Art of Tomorrow, The National Art Center, Tokyo, Tokyo
NonSpaces, AKBANK SANAT, Istanbul
2017 Digital Art Festival Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan

Grains of Film – Silver Nitrate


Single Channel Video Installation / 4K / 11 min 11 sec Loop / Silent

Wounded Film


Double Channel Video /4K / 3 min Loop / Silent

Three Minutes of Silver



1. Grains of Film – Silver Nitrate 2017 / Single Channel Video Installation / 4K / 11 min 11 sec Loop / Silent


2. Wounded Film 2017 / Double Channel Video / 4K / 3 min Loop / Silent


3. Three Minutes of Silver 2017 / Silver



Nitrate Dreams

Sep. 30(Sun) – Dec. 2(Sun), 2018

Organized by:Pola Museum of Art, Pola Art Foundation

Venue: Atrium Gallery, Pola Museum of Art