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  • Writer's pictureHakan Öztunalı

The Reminiscence w/ Hitrisisters

Greetings everyone! In this episodic journey of me, I would like to introduce Hitrisisters. Hitri has a peculiar skill to draw thyself and the other. In fact, there are two Hitris like a janiform facing opposite directions. No one will ever know what Hitri is forged by. Might be a stardust lead to Hitri spring to life? No matter how the dice fall, Hitri is uncommon. Hitri lives in the past, presence and future. Something is reminiscent with Hitri, but I do not know what it is. I would like to collect the naive spirits, place in a jar jam and spread on a slice of bread. The grand banquet to refresh memories!

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

Greetings Hitri! Pleasure to have you here. Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers for further details?

Hitri: Thanks for having me. I’m not good with introducing myself but I’ll try my best. I go by Hitrisisters on instagram and twitter, people call me Hitri but that isn’t actually referred to me, It’s the name of the characters that I draw. Along the line I call myself Hitri too. I don’t know how to refer to myself, I don’t think I am an artist, or an illustrator, or a creator...

I always think I am just a person who does things, draw, expressing, dreaming, anybody can do this stuff that I do. A lot of people think Hitri is an internet persona, or a mask that I hide behind, but Hitri is the truest me, therefore the only me relevant. Hitri is me when I’m free, trapped, when I’m at my most beautiful or ugliest, my most unfiltered and myself. I feel uncomfortable when referred to myself or being referred to in another way.

I was born in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. It’s a beautiful place, I love my country, but I always feels like I was born in the wrong place. The country is very unforgiving for people who are not in the same equation. My favorite colors is red and black, my favorite foods is raw tuna and dried squid, and I love people who are passionate. I love beauty that is deformed, distorted, wounded and scars, the imperfection. I love mysteries, fantasies and romances. I love the erotics. I love punk. I considered myself a punk because of my resentment and anger for realism, the realistic and materialistic, the greediness, the calculative nature of the world around me, but that is subjective of course. I refuse to be realistic, or cruel, I am a romantic, even if that makes me childish and naive.

Truly interesting and enticing drawing method. How did you develop that methodology and depict the theme?

Hitri: Thank you. I don’t know exactly what created my “method” so to speak, or Is there actually one. I have been drawing since forever. I just draw things I find beautiful, and draw from artists I love such as Tsutomu Nihei, Yoshitaka Amino, Abe,…and let my emotions loose while drawing. Over the years those things mush together and I arrived at this point, my drawing has changed a lot. I dreamt up a race of people, “Hitri ''.

They are these perfect beings with beautiful features, alluring and seductive eyes, androgynous doll-like faces, skinny fragile bodies that are always deformed or distorted in some sort, impossibly small waist that hurt to look at. They are the center of my drawings, or anything I create really, and while I draw them they merge with whatever emotions I feel at the time. The theme I guess stems from my desire to create beauty from the viled parts of myself. In a way I make myself beautiful.

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

Could you please elaborate your admiration of series either movies that you watch?

Hitri: When thinking back, I always arrived at three series that had great impact on me, the manga “Blame!”, the anime series “Serial experiments Lain” and an Ero guro series called “Burgess’s Girls: chapter of Anomalocaris”. I love movies but there are none on the same level in terms of impact on me as these three. Blame! is a magnum opus for my creativity, it was the most creative, unique, original work I’ve ever read at that point. It’s like my brain was expanded, I dreamt up Ideas and fantasies I never thought were possible for me after Blame!

I love myths, because of how fantastical and mysterious they are. I feel like most stories nowaday explain everything, leave no details behind, there is a need to explain and make sense of everything, and It’s boring. Myths and legends are so grand and magical, because there are so many questions. This fog of mystery, make It so cool to experience, make the feats so gigantic, so grand. Blame! Is a sci-fi, but at the core It’s a myth, a fantasy in sci-fi settings. The world of Blame! Is a world of science, but in contrast so shrouded in mysteries, nothing makes sense, there are so many things happening all the time. Its story follow a very straight forward journey with straightforward goal and one dimensional direction, but in an absolutely and almost comically absurdly long span of time with crazy creatures and enemies, insane feats being displays, challenges so impossible, a no mercy read, the story doesn’t care about you It just unfold.

Along the way of growing up, the lessons I learned is that the romance of myths and fairy tales is childish and lesser, because It’s unrealistic. Blame! show me the opposite and tell me that those things actually reign above all. Serial experiments Lain is a pretty well-known anime in the anime scene. It's in this JPEGMAFIA territory where it is underground to mainstream people, but mainstream for underground people. A show that’s very much ahead of Its time, deals with problems like Identity, boundaries between digital and reality, and a very accurate depiction of the internet and Its impact although aired in 1998.

I was in a very lost period of my life in terms of identity when I first watched Lain, very uncertain of myself and uncertain of the world with no ways to cope. Lain’s philosophies are very aligned with my beliefs. It helped me find a way to move forward while being as authentic as possible, which I still struggle with. “Burgess’s girls” for short, has gorgeous art, deep world building, and is very romantic. But the most beautiful and creative part of It is in the depravity, the kinks and sexual aspect. I’ve never seen depravity done so beautiful, so poetic and romantic, so erotic, so creative. Anti-establishment, anti-class themes. So much love and care and thoughts on every page. To me this series Is a symbol of my acceptance for my ugliness and dirtiness.

I don’t have to be perfect, or clean to be beautiful, the most beautiful things could be the most disgusting and viled. Certain things happened, I’m feeling shameful most of the time because of the ways I am and what I’m into and my fantasies. But that’s okay because I can make them beautiful.

In terms of your artistic journey, do you have expectations or plans to expand your artistic image?

Hitri: I don’t really see what the future Is like for me, but I would love to do bigger things someday, like murals, sculptures, maybe performances even, different things like music too. There are a lot of times when I feel drawing isn’t enough.

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

The gap is closing between digital and reality. How is that affecting you within your expertise?

Hitri: To me, there is no gap between digital and reality. Digital is part of reality, not a separate thing, like information is part of reality, and information existed way before digital. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong.

In terms of affecting me, I always think digital format is just another canvas. The screen and tablet is another canvas. Like paper is different from cotton. I’ll be fine as long as my head and hands are intact, hopefully no serious accidents in the future.

What is your anticipation of future trends in the sense of art?

Hitri: I never really thought about this. My guess is a lot more cooler art pieces involve AI. The state of AI in art right now is pathetic, but I think It won’t be long till someone comes up with some crazy and unconventional ways to use AI in art. I personally think AI is perfect for performance art.

Any desire/passion/vision that drives your mood upwards and makes you chase it till you capture?

Hitri: Yes. There is this thing, that Itself includes many emotions, many elements. Hazy, incredibly melancholic, very lonely, dreamy, trancey, a longing feeling, white and gray, very misty, low resolution, TV static, a cryptic faith and many more, I don’t know what It is.

I treat It and envision It like a world, I call It Maro and I imagine this is the world that the Hitri race come from and live in, because I have to feel like this, enter this place or I can’t draw, and I draw Hitri most of the time, so technically they come from It. It’s very hard to describe, I never thought about describing this with words before.

Sometimes It just slowly creeps in, and like you said I have to chase It until I capture It , or It could explode out of nowhere, suck me in and I have to draw it out somehow.

(Courtesy of Hitrisisters)

What influences you and resonates in your artwork?

Hitri: There are a million and trillion things that influence me and resonate in my stuff. The three series I mentioned, influence me as a person and my drawing styles on a deep level, I won’t elaborate about them much further. Other things I mentioned are fantasy, myths, legends, fairy tales, I love this type of story. Music with noisy sounds and texture, like shoegaze. I am deeply in love with shoegaze. Shoegaze is my wet dream sound.

The feelings and moods when I’m listening to shoegaze are similar when I’m entering Maro. I try to translate those feelings as much as possible when drawing. My favorite bands are My Dead Girl and Candy Claws. Punk influences me a lot, but I don’t go crazy over the music, I much prefer post-punk, or something more gothic. Trance, especially the mid 2000s Anime-Trance genre with its mind numbing sounds and pace, and unnecessary good melodies. I find that no matter what genre I like, no matter how different, they always have to have a good melody.

Another big one is Hexd, very textures, bit crush, static electric sounds, like a sandpaper scratching my brain, Hexd comes best when I’m suffering with anger and frustration. It is like shoegaze siblings but with angst and less romantic. I think that my creating process involved lots of stuff just gushing out and mixing together, so the noisy and texture music resonates with me. Good melody is just beautiful, not much to say. But yeah I love music, one of my worst fears is going deaf, I would love to create music in the future. Sci-fi mediums, books and movies, animes and mangas...

Obviously Blame! Lain, but also Ghost in the shell, Akira, Blade Runner, District 9,…Sci-fi and fantasy to me are two of the peak mediums for creativity, both are so fantastical, they represent some of human biggest, most beautiful dreams and fantasies in my opinion. Fashion brands like Alexander Mcqueen, Margiela, Vivienne Westwood…

Truly appreciate your participation! Would you like to close our dialogue with your words?

Hitri: Again thank you for having me, I’m grateful. There is this fire inside me. It used to be a wildfire but now it's just a candle, I can feel it getting smaller as the days go by. Not too long ago when I realized my life is going to be a purposeless one, I choose to not die without putting up a fight, I choose to continue my life protecting this fire. I know that a lot of people feel this way, so I wanna say that I see you.


To reach official Instagram page of Hitrisisters, tap here: @hitrisisters


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