Saturday, October 20, 2012

Project: Artistic Statement

Every Saturday I will be posting a blog post related to the ‘Sofubi mentorship’ project. I don’t know what to call them! Something catchy will come to mind but if you have an idea, please post it in the comments section.

Part of the grant application, I had to submit an artistic statement. As I studied design, I have never thought of myself as an artist. Yet, through development of my proposal, I have realised that I am an ‘artist through design’; my vision is art, my process is design.
Snippet of my artistic statement:
As an artist and designer, the past, present and future play a role in my work. My work pays homage to my inspirations whilst blending my vision of the future.

My background is Industrial Design and I use my knowledge of materials and processes to extend my artistic possibilities. To me, design is objective art. Although aesthetics is vital, the work must follow a need or purpose. Art toys can blur these restrictions. Design thinking and processes are involved but there is no purpose or need, resulting in completely subjective work. Art toys appeal to me because they continuously push these boundaries.

I am drawn to Japanese toy design as it’s not about the finalised character; it has a much wider background that encompasses Japanese techniques, craftsmanship and styles. Where quality of the sculpting, surface finish and colour variations are a significant part of the art form.


People often ask me what I am influenced by, I have trouble answering this question. I rather be influenced by anything and everything and not lock myself in. If I had to say when it all started, my main inspiration would be Tokusatsu; Japanese science fiction, fantasy or horror.

I was first introduced to Japanese culture through Kaiju films when I was 12, I used to think “why would anyone create something so outlandish?” The fact that it existed, and someone had thought it up intrigued me and pulled me in deep.    

A year later, I came across Japanese animation and was taken in by the quality of the animation and vivid stories. It opened a gateway to another viewpoint and my interest for Japan increased. Being inspired by these works, I wanted to dig deeper and find out what they were inspired by: Japanese horror stories, samurai, Shintoism, Buddhism, yokai, kaiju, politics, love, passion. As a young teenager, the mix of Japanese pop culture and tradition had a very strong impact on my outlook on life.

Many years later, I would discover kaiju again through toys. Once again, I was thinking “why would someone make this”, everything came full circle in many ways.

Before I get into a long yarn, I will leave my story there for tonight. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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