Artist Interview: Karu Miyoshi

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

Miyoshi Karyu, born in Osaka in 2001. Now based in Tokyo, Japan. Work in a variety of media including performance, fashion, sculpture, painting, and installation.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

​​My inspiration comes from the images I used to watch on Cartoon Network, and I grew up watching Ukiyoe prints, so I was influenced by the swelling of the hands, and I like to use exaggerated expressions.

What do you want to convey through your work?

I’m interested in the extension of the body, and when we walk or move our hands, we can move our hands with electrical signals from the brain through the nerves, like a third hand or a third ear. When I move the large feet of the work, we can move them by sharing communication, feeling, sight, and so on (have people perform together).

When the legs are moving, the work asks the question, “To what extent is this me? I’m always thinking about how much of myself is me and how much is not me when I create my works. I hope that people will see that I am thinking about this.

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

My artwork is mainly large performances, so it would be great if people could get to know me through this online exhibition, and then actually come to Japan or invite me to where they are to see the performance in person.

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.

Artist Interview: Mizuki Inoue

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

My name is Mizuki Inoue. I was born in Kumamoto Prefecture and now I am an artist based in Tokyo.My work is mainly painting. I am thinking about how society views the neglected or too obvious “individual”. My work is not about resisting loud voices, but about the voices of the few that are not ignored.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

The inspirations of my works are from frustrations in my daily life, small feelings of discomfort or petty anger. I record them by drawing so that they won’t disappear.

I’ve been around people with disabilities and minorities, and my hometown was hit by the earthquake, so I am interested in people who are marginalized by society, social norms, the structure of discrimination, and so on, and that is why I create my works.

What do you want to convey through your work?

Rather than thinking about what I want to convey, I hope to convey whatever I am thinking.

People who are invisible in society, people who are discriminated against, and conversely, people who are too visible, why they are the way they are, and what process they went through to become that way, I think it is important to think about them.

I’ve been thinking about these things a lot in my work, so I hope I can convey some of these things.

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

I’m happy that my work has been sold, but I don’t really want to give it away on the other hand.

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

The major theme of my work has remained the same, and for this time, I think it’s more like a question. It’s a direct portrayal of attitudes toward people who are marginalized. I was conscious of the structure that drives those people away. It’s not a specific motif, but it’s a question for the viewer and also for myself.

Artist Interview: Shogo Harada

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

My name is Shogo Harada. I am working on oil paintings. I look at the society close to me from a perspective that is pulled back as if taking a distance. I create my paintings by taking snapshots taken from such a perspective as objective, and then re-examining them subjectively.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

Originally, I was a little curious about the world after my death, and as I looked at the landscape in front of me, I thought that if I didn’t actively participate in it, the landscape after I was gone wouldn’t be much different, so I started looking at the world from a distance, trying not to interfere with it as much as possible.

What do you want to convey through your work?

Pull back and look at the scenery in front of you. It is as if I am looking at the landscape and myself looking at it from further back.I think this image is connected to the painting: the landscape, myself, and myself looking from behind. I would like to share the image via sharing “the painted image, the space”, “the surface of the painting and the frame of the painting”, and “the person looking at it”. I hope to share this image through the act of viewing.

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

I’m a little concerned that the conceptual motif in my painting is too ordinary a landscape.

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

I hope the viewer can get a sense of the atmosphere I want to create from my pictures.

Artist Interview: Yasuyuki Tsuchiya

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

Born in Hiroshima, currently living in Tokyo. I work as a business consultant on weekdays, and create art on weekends. I am currently working on art using stationery.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

My works reflect what I observe at work and in my daily life.

What do you want to convey through your work?

In the wake of the pandemic, many companies are shifting to telecommuting, and the world is becoming a place where everything can be done online. In this environment, stationery is losing its role, and art is providing them new place to perform.
In the future, many people are expected to lose their roles due to digital transformation such as the use of AI, but I hope through my work to wish people will be able to acquire new roles and be active, just like these stationeries.

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

The stationery series that I am currently working on is completed by repeating the same process over and over again. The process is mentally demanding, but the joy I feel when it is completed is worth it.

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

I hope to create works that will surprise, make people laugh, and make them feel happy.

Artist Interview: Yukihiro Hirata

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

I mainly use watercolors as my painting medium, but I also use acrylics and foils depending on what I want to express. I consider color and composition in my sketches and try to maintain a balance between sensory and theoretical elements.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

There are many things I receive from nature. There was a lot of nature in the environment where I grew up. Whenever I played, when I rested my mind, when I was troubled, or when I was determined, there was nature and living things.

It gives me courage, healing, joy, surprise, and a rich heart. When I receive such positive emotions from nature, I feel that I want to leave them in my paintings and express them.

What do you want to convey through your work?

I want to convey the fun, beauty, and fascination of emotions and culture that arise from the intersection of nature and people’s lives. I believe that people are by nature attracted to things that are instinctive. We are fascinated by documentaries about nature, adolescents desperately trying to move forward, and things that have been refined after a battle. At that moment, the people involved are struggling desperately to live, and there is a lot of energy in that image. It touches the instincts of those who see it and makes their hearts sing. I myself am attracted to such figures, and I am also a party to them. By embodying this energy in my paintings, I aim to give strength to those who see them.

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

The most difficult thing is to continue to create pure art.

In order to make time to create peacefully, both mental and financial stability is necessary. If you are in a hurry, your work will be messy, and if you are anxious, your energy will not last until completion. If your goal is money, you will be driven by demand, and it will be hard work. There are a variety of obstacles that stand in the way of my being able to devote my time to pure creation, and I am making daily efforts to lighten them one by one.

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

As long as my hands are active, I will never stop making art, so I hope you will continue to enjoy it. I hope you will continue to enjoy my work, and I hope that it will lead to enrichment of your life.

Artist Interview: Yusaku Munakata

Please introduce yourself and your work style.

I mainly create paintings with acrylic paint on canvas. For the past few years, I have been working on abstract expression. With a minimum of elements, I try to express what I feel is essential.

What are the sources of inspiration for your work?

Spending time in nature
Ordinary life
Thinking about life, the universe, etc.
Conversation with myself

What do you want to convey through your work?

I draw pictures based on the theme of “what exists at the source of all things in the universe. It could be called “life” or “soul”.

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

There is a gap between what I feel is essential, which is the theme of my work, and what it means to live in modern society (economic matters, customs, etc.). How to fill this gap is an issue that I would like to focus on in the future.

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

What I am interested in is what the source of all things is, and I am trying to find out through my paintings. I believe that a painting is like a doorway to the depths of oneself, so I hope that people who see my paintings can freely expand their imagination and feel their own inner world within the painting.