CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

XY: I would describe my work as surrealist painting which combines both figuration and abstraction. My current body of work depicts minimal landscapes in which I seek to reflect my emotions, conscious and subconscious. I would summarize my style as a combination of Japanese aesthetic and surrealism. 

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

XY: I am an introvert. I enjoy meditating and am fascinated by art and books on the realms of the immaterial, such as psychoanalysis, particularly that relating to memories, the afterlife, and the sublime experience of both. My greatest influence is perhaps Jungian psychology and philosophy. My works also refer to a longstanding tradition of Japanese painting and drawing exploring the concept of Yūgen, ‘an awareness of the Universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words’, manifested aesthetically in the inclusion of backgrounds left evolving from or dissolving into nothingness, a space of potentiality. This space of potentiality is represented in the abyss-like backgrounds of my works. Faced with this space, I hope to provoke my viewers to reflect upon themselves on a metaphysical level. Avant-garde instrumental music influences the hues and personal emotive of my works. 

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

XY: Before I start painting, I produce various sketches, not as a plan for the final painting, but rather as idea references. This allows me to work my canvas with greater creative freedom.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

XY: My works seek to create a space for viewers to explore inside themselves, their fears, dreams and desires, prompted by the metaphysical realms I create.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

XY: My art is my way of exploring and expressing myself. I spend most of my time in the clouds, imagining ways of transmitting my two-fold vision.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

XY: Although I start painting with a mental plan informed by the many idea sketches I do before starting work on a canvas, when I start painting, the plan will gradually disintegrate caused by uncontrollable intuitive and sensual impulses. Moreover, one can never foresee the final mood and effect these brushstrokes and unplanned decisions will set.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

XY: I think the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is never to be satisfied. There is always more research, meditation and experimentation to be done. I love learning, it makes me perceive myself and my surroundings in a more holistic way. 

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

XY: I wish I could spend more time in my studio. I struggle with lack of time, distracted by life admin.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

XY: It’s my vocation, I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s how I express my person-hood. 

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

XY: Rene Magritte and Odilon Redon are two major artistic influences. I admire the way their works portray the depth of the inner self and the primacy of consciousness in the human experience. Redon’s musical landscapes and Magritte’s surreal objects and compositions are both dreamlike, and reflect the artists’ states of mind. I appreciate the ways they depict the serene yet emotionally enriched solitary landscapes.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

XY: I think technology is more useful to artists for research and references. It aids in opening our minds, by offering a wider-reaching view of the world and giving us more artistic choices. It also helps promote our creations to a wider audience. 

CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?

XY: I think different professions require different perspectives of the world. The artist’s one is a particularly visual one, in which we are compelled to translate many of our thoughts into visual language. 

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

XY: I love travelling. So far, my favorite place has been Alaska. I went to the Arctic Circle and have never seen a more beautiful scene. Snow concealed everything, even the noise, only leaving white, dark and silence, with only the subtle sound of wind blowing. To me, it was the wonderland of isolation from reality. It was a dive into serenity in the brightness of the full moon and its reflection on the snow. I left my chaotic noisy life behind, and all I felt was total calm and solitariness.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

XY: My favorite book is Happy Death by Albert Camus, for its exploration of humanity.

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

XY: I am preparing for my MA show in June 2023. I plan to make my painting more abstract.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to? 

XY: Genshi no Kakera by Dead End, a song about death and rebirth.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

XY: My works combine the Japanese tradition of portraying nature and water as a medium to spirituality, with illusions to death in the form of motifs, such as the centipede that feeds on dead organisms, and hues which remind myself, and hopefully the viewer, of nature’s odors, including that of humidity and death. In a way, my paintings could be called 21st century vanitas paintings. In reminding the viewer of death and the afterlife, and memories and fear associated with them, the viewer is called to explore their spiritual dimension in the face of their own death.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: