PEOPLEText: Aya Shomura

yonezawaTakuya Yonezawa, an artist who paints with oil and acrylic paint, tends to capture a motif realistically while he also expresses the sadness and funniness of the personification of motifs with no voice in a pop way. Due to the recent appearances at Rising Sun Rock Festival and Art Fair Sapporo 2014, many people have been recognizing him as an artist. An interview with this rising artist Yonezawa was held to discuss his on-going solo exhibit “PRISM” at Cross Hotel Sapporo and his creative series “PRISM” and “Still Life” which were launched last year.

Photo: Toshisato Komaki

Could you please introduce yourself to everyone?

My name is Takuya Yonezawa, and I live in Teshio, Hokkaido. Nice meeting you guys. I teach at a middle school and paint on the side in the area called Teshio, located just below south of Wakkanai.

“PRISM” Takuya Yonezawa, 2014/2015, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, Acrylic on Panel, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

What made you decide to major in art at school? Also, could you please share with us why and/or how you started painting?

The anime Dragonball is a reason why I started to paint. My childhood friend’s brother was so good at drawing Dragon Ball characters, and I really admired that. Ever since then, I have been drawing. I started to paint with oil color in highschool and with acrylic paint in college. Then, I was able to organize my first solo exhibit in winter during the third grade of college. Through the exhibit, I learned the excitement of sharing my work with others and seeing their reactions. After this experience, I display my art at various galleries and other places.

“Live painting” Takuya Yonezawa, 2014, Art Fair Sapporo 2014 (The Special Program), Cross Hotel Sapporo (13th floor), Photo: Toshisato Komaki

I remember that your live painting performance at Rising Sun Rock Festival and Art Fair Sapporo 2014 had a very good response. You used unique themes for these drawing performances, such as “Chiki-Chiki-Bone”, a Japanese processed food, seasoned fried chickens with bones” and “avocado seeds.” What was the concept for choosing these themes for your performance?

I’d like people to lose track of time and be entertained by my art during my performance. So my goal is to provide unordinary life to my audiences through my art. When I try to come up with ideas for my art motifs, I imagine a fictional story in my head and capture a scene. The performance at Rising Sun Rock Festival has a fictional story behind, and I trimmed down the story into one scene for the performance. At Art Fair Sapporo 2014, I painted the process of opening a fictional gallery. I saw people who work at a gallery talking very happily during the gallery preview and decided that I would like to be an owner at my fictional gallery.

“Live painting” Takuya Yonezawa, 2014, Rising Sun Rock Festival 2014 (Artist Tent Area)

How do you value live paintings? Does showing the drawing process to audiences mean anything to you?

Since a live painting includes the process of creation, it is a special thing to me. I have done decent ones only three times so far, but I always try to come up with some type of tricks to make audiences excited or encounter new ideas.

“Day Tripper” Takuya Yonezawa, 2012, 600 x 600 mm, Oil and Acrylic on Panel

You made a statement saying that ‘I am interested in passing fun and interesting things from daily ife to my audiences. Also, I would like to create a space where I can share unordinary experiences’ How do you specifically make your ideas into art works?

I usually capture a moment of daily life that I felt as unordinary experience, such as the moment when the theme “day tripper” came to my mind when I saw a gadfly on a red car, or when I found a link between “Chiki-Chiki-Bone” and a famous oil painting “Salmon” by Yuichi Takahashi. However, since I do not want to force audiences the idea of my art being too unordinary, as much as I try hard to focus on the point, I am being careful to refrain from pushing my ideas hard so that my art could be inviting to anyone.

“Still Life” Takuya Yonezawa, 2014, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, 1,300 x 1,600 mm, Oil on Canvas, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

Could you please tell us about your “Still Life” series?

All fruits drawn on my work for this exhibit are fake. I came up with the theme for this series when I discovered an old plastic pear in an art classroom. I felt a strong message from things that have not been paid attention to for a long time. After I wondered about the most appropriate method of expressing the message visible, I came to the conclusion of adding saturated linework around the fruits.

Some people wonder if this is a wordplay of painting still life and the meaning of life and death.

I am not very focused on the life and death theme. When it comes to painting, the importance to me is if my art is enjoyable by audiences and if they can experience the same feeling that I have. My art work is a tool to make this happen. I’d be more than happy if audiences can bring various images to their head when they find links between their memories and my art work.

“appeals” Takuya Yonezawa, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, 1,200 x 2,000 mm, Acrylic on Panel, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

I hear that you have been working on “PRISM” series, the theme of this solo exhibit, since last year. Because of the impact of saturated linework, people receive a compelet different impression from your previous work. What is your concrete feeling towards this series ?

“PRISM” series rely on audiences imagination instead of having a specific setting on each painting. I wanted to keep expressing unvisible things into visible, such as a strange shining moment to individuals when they see things, even non-special things, then I decided to work on this series extended from “Still Life” series. When I was wondering about the process of realization of this idea, I was invited to perform at Rising Sun Rock Festival. I used masking tapes for the performance, but I also included paints to create this series since I was attracted to the texture.

“PRISM” Takuya Yonezawa, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, 1,400 x 1,000 mm, Acrylic on Panel, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

Did you use new methods to create “PRISM” series?

A new method is for me to use a mass volume of masking tape. I used masking tape to make separation of colors on my large art works from this exhibit displayed at Meet Lounge on the second floor of Cross Hotel Sapporo. Since I did not have to worry about colors going over to different color areas, I was able to obtain vivid and bold color combinations on my artworks. I decided on the colors I used as I was working on a piece, so I never had any idea for the result of my work.

“PRISM” Takuya Yonezawa, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, 1,200 x 2,000 mm, Acrylic on Panel, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

You have been very busy with exhibitions since the beginning of 2015. Do you have a target or goal that you would like to achieve in the future?

I started being busy with art exhibits from the end of 2014. I have three exhibits in February only. I was actually very surprised how busy I was. That was more than I have ever experienced in my life. I will surely continue to create art, but I would like to improve the quality of my work as I create. The goal will be to make the distance between my image and my work as close as possible.

From left “TUMLOW”, “AVELA”, “ZALY”, “CELVO” Takuya Yonezawa, Solo Exhibition “PRISM”, Cross Hotel Sapporo, 2015, 727 x 530 mm , Acrylic on Panel, Photo: Toshisato Komaki

Any messages to Shift fans?

Thank you so much for reading my entire interview.

MACHINAKA ART-X_edition vol.15
Yonezawa Takuya Solo Exhibition “PRISM”

Date: March 1st – May 31st, 2015
Opening Reception: February 28th, 19:00 – 21:00
Place: Cross Hotel Sapporo
Address: North 2 West 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Organized by Cross Hotel Sapporo (Planning department +81 11 272 0051)
Curated by Clark Gallery + SHIFT
Collaboration: Hanaagura, Machinaka Art

Text: Aya Shomura
Translation: Yumico Miyagawa

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