AG Gallery is pleased to announce an extension of our current Solo Exhibition “Miotsukushi” by Aya Kakeda. Thank you for all those who attended for the opening reception and already visited the show, Please make sure to visit us if you haven’t already.
Meanwhile below is an exclusive interview with Aya Kakeda, with some images of her original works still available at AG Gallery. Please enjoy!
Exhibition will be on view through November 12, 2016.
~Interview with artist Aya Kakeda~
Q1-Please tell us a little bit about your background…
I was born and grew up in Tokyo, Japan. I moved to the United States when I was in my late teens; I lived in Florida, Georgia, and now live and work in Brooklyn, NY.
My art education is in illustration, but while I was in school I started to be more interested in Fine Art. Now I split my time being a illustrator, Fine artist, and educator.
Q2-What was the first work of art that you saw or experienced that you still remember today?
My grandmother was a Japanese Tea ceremony teacher. And I grew up surrounded by tea ceremony tools, ceramics, seasonal flowers, and seasonal Japanese paintings that decorate around the tea ceremony rooms.
Since they are for tea ceremony, the art or ceramic themselves are not necessary decorative or colorful; actually they were more in earthy tones had WabiSabi feelings to it, but they always had some twist or hidden playfulness to them which interested me.
Also, in every season Kimono maker would come to our house and show my grandmother rolls of fabrics. I still remember the scene when the rolls of fabrics would fly through the air, filling the room, and for me it looked like a sea of patterns. I think that image still sticks to my mind and till this day I love looking at patterns. My work also has a lot of patterns in it.
Q3-Who were your earliest influencers of famous artists or creators?
As a child I was very much into monsters, ghosts, animals, and Folk stories.
Kuniyoshi (Ukiyoe Master) has a huge influence on me. I discovered his playful Ukiyoe that depicts animals as human. It’s quite humorous. And his monsters are not always very scary; they are very silly and I loved that about his monster work.
Also growing up in Japan I was more into non-traditional art like Manga and Animation.
I always liked Shigeo Mizuki, Osamu Tezuka, and Fujiko Fujio A.
Their world is twisted, dark, and full of monsters, but also humorous.
I think that’s my favorite mixer; dark creature world but humorous.
Q4-Please tell us about your work…
I like telling stories and creating my own whimsical world. When I started out, I started by remembering my imaginary world that I had when I was little. And now that world has been expanding over the years. My world is mysterious and dark, sometimes with strange creatures but never serious; there is some sort of humor in it. I like the contrast of reality and imaginary, dark and light, cute and ugly, and that reflects in my art I think.
Q5-What do you make?
Materials have been changing over the years also depending on the project. It varies from Printmaking, embroidery, painting, installation, now I’m very into making a ceramic sculptures. For this show it’s mostly paintings and ceramic sculptures.
Q6-What generally inspires or influences you to create your work?
I get very excited to see craft and fabrics from different parts of the world. For that reason, traveling and getting to know the different culture has been a huge influence on me. Every time I go somewhere I get inspired and can’t wait to go back to studio and create. Also I get influenced by reading, watching cinema, seeing performance, and so on.
And having coffee talking to friends also inspires me, I am luckily surrounded by many creative minds!
Q7-What is the main challenge for you when creating your work?
I try to challenge myself by using new materials and I love the process of making things, but I often end up with “ugly s***” and not one, but many many “ugly s***” and that’s frustrating sometimes to not get the result I want. But it’s also the part of art making I like as well, experimenting and exploring new things.
Q8-What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a Ceramic series that I started this Summer. Part of them are exhibited at AG gallery right now!
I have been trying to combine the beautiful deep colors and textures of the ceramic glaze and very artificial flat colors. My work usually has believable botanical backgrounds and mythical imaginary creatures, and I would like to push that in the material as well by mixing earth (clay and glaze that are made with minerals from earth) and artificial medium (plastic, resin, and house paint).
Q10-What is your dream or goal as an artist in 3 years? 5 years?
Ceramic is still a new medium for me and I’m still learning about the medium and also how to show in the space. I would like to figure out how to mix my 2D works and sculpture also to create the whole complete world. So my future plan is to figure that out in the next year or so and make more art! As a goal I would love to have a bigger body of work for exhibition.
Lastly, Do you have any message to visitors for this exhibition? What we should check out / should not miss in this exhibition?
The past few years have been a transition for me moving from 2D to 3D and also finding a way to incorporate both mediums. So maybe visitors would be able to feel the transition and the new direction and hopefully that’s interesting for them to see.