My goal is to transcend time,” says Kohei Kyomori, who decorates his paintings with ornaments and craftsmanship. We spoke with him about his thoughts and creations.
Kyomori, you create your paintings in the context of decoration, right? Can I ask you something before we start?
-I work under the title of a contemporary decorator, but I keep in mind that I am trying to interpret and update the many decorative cultures of history in my own way. In that sense, my work may take the form of paintings that introduce decorative culture in a new way, regardless of country or region. In a sense, language is important in contemporary art, especially in conceptual works. However, at least with my own work, I want it to be something that people can look at and be moved by, without relying on words.
You used to work in graphic design and clothing. Is that an influence on your work?
-Yes, it is an influence and an important factor. In terms of color combinations, I think my experience studying fashion in Europe comes into play. I also work digitally, so I try to go beyond the boundaries of two-dimensional painting and combine multiple techniques and materials to enhance the strength of my work, including the choice of materials and the fusion of digital and analog.
Can you tell us about your production process?
-First a sketch, then a digital simulation, then a CG drawing of the work.
Then I print out the work using printing techniques appropriate for the material, and use mineral pigments and UV resin for dyeing and three-dimensional processing.
It is an elaborate process.
-Yes, but the good thing about this method is that it creates opportunities.
By going through the process of digital simulation, unexpected elements are created. You are not bound by your own ideas, but you can incorporate ideas freed from them into your production.
There are several series in your work, what is the focus of each?
-Right now, I have roughly five series.
For example, the “A-UN” series contains a message of hope to overcome discrimination and prejudice among ethnic groups.
Another important series is the “JAPAN BLUE” series. This series uses indigo dyeing. The theme of this series is “Affirmation of Imperfection”.
I believe that everything that is considered incompatible by society is individuality.
A diverse society is one that incorporates characteristics that do not fit into an established framework.
That’s why it’s very Japanese to me.
Do you have a message or goal that you want to convey through your works?
-My message is to acknowledge and accept imperfection. My goal is to “transcend time”.
I’ve been thinking about this goal for a long time. It may be the most important thing in the show.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about universality. In a decorative sense, is it the feeling you get when you look at it?
A single design contains a lot of skill, density, time, and energy of the people involved in it. Everyone who sees it will think, “Wonderful! Everyone who sees it will think, “Wonderful! I think that everyone who sees it will think, “Wonderful!
I like things that can move me without explanation, and I think that’s wonderful.
Please tell us about your future plans.
-I would like to utilize the context of traditional Japanese crafts in art from the perspective of decoration.
Specifically, I would like to combine the techniques nurtured through history and tradition, such as Arita-yaki porcelain and indigo dyeing in Tokushima, with the decorative paintings I create. I believe that by doing so, I can increase the value, strength, and energy of my works/objects.
In addition, by collaborating with each region, we would like to protect the techniques and traditions that can be left to the future of Japan, and pass on the evolving traditions to the future beyond time.