Hiroki Morinoue (born 1947) is an American artist of Japanese descent who has helped to pioneer in the United States the fusion of western Impressionism with modern Japanese design.
Morinoue was born in Kealakekua and raised near Holualoa, formerly a major coffee plantation town in the mountains above Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Japanese workers were imported from Japan at the turn of the 20th century to Hawaii to work the plantations. Although the coffee plantations are gone, Holualoa remains a major producer and exporter of Kona coffee from a cooperative of private growers. In addition, a large artist colony has taken hold in the town itself.
Morinoue studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, where he received his BFA degree. Later, while in Japan, Morinoue studied with a master sumi-e artist and a master of woodblock printing. Morinoue still makes his home in Holualoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
It was Morinoue's seemingly abstract paintings of calm water on textured wood or woodblock prints that propelled him to prominence. The play of light on pebbles at the bottom of a creek or pond, bubbles, ripples, or the reflection on the surface of water are combined with a Japanese sense of balance and design in intense shades of aqua, black and blue creating art of refined, serene elegance. Subsequent works show a trend towards abstract art, experimentation in warmer palettes, rougher strokes, various subject matters and media such as ceramics and photography.
Hiroki Morinoue can be seen in several public and private collections in the USA (particularly in Hawaii) and Japan.