Artist Interview: Ko Kikuchi

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

I am based in Tokyo, Japan. In recent years, I have been painting abstract paintings under the theme of “SPECTRUM”. I use a variety of brush strokes and colorful colors to express the variability of things, while pasting paper and cork and applying multiple layers of paint.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

It is the variability in nature. For example, if a tree has many leaves, no two of them are the same. When you look at the disparate things, you suddenly realize that they all have something unique about them. If you look around you, you will find differences in size, height, strength, and weakness. These can be found by observing nature and people’s activities. Comparing the sky, the sun, flowers, and people, we can only be convinced by the fact that their personalities and properties are endlessly different. I am inspired by the structure of the world that is made up of such endless variations.

What do you want to convey through your work?

There are differences in everything in this world, but I believe that all of them should be treated equally. By painting what I see, everything is brought together in a very small thickness. Painting is a way of realizing the equal treatment of various things that cannot be equated by means of expression. I would like to convey the beauty of disparate things existing in their disparate forms and standing next to each other.

As an artist, what is the most difficult thing you are facing?

What I find most difficult is whether or not people can enjoy my work in a casual way. Paintings, particularly in Japan, make people nervous when people look at them, and they give off an image of luxury. There is an image of nobility, of loftiness, and because you don’t know what it is, you may shy away from it, or you may be nervous about it. I’m trying to make it easier and more enjoyable for people to watch.

What would you like to tell people who are looking at your work?

I would like to convey that it is beautiful that people and things are all made differently. Just as the rainbow is a beautiful mixture of many colors, I hope my work will give you a sense of the richness that is created when many different things interact and live next to each other.