Interviews with the KAIR 2011 artists!
Next, we have YUI INOUE from JAPAN!
(I asked the artists to look as frightening as possible in their portraits but I think Inoue san is imagining eating the face-shaped ham instead.)
What made you apply for the Kamiyama Artist in Residence program?
I always try to listen to my instincts and try to do things or go somewhere when I want to.
I was fascinated with the Ai-indigo dying and also with being surrounded by nature but it’s beyond all reason why I’m here and I can’t explain it. I just knew this was going to be a very interesting experience.
Describe your work in one word
It’s like waiting for random chance or accidents.
Do you have a special method for generating your ideas?
Maybe it’s not always directly related to what I do but, for instance, I’m in the countryside now and all of these amazing experiences in nature would eventually become part of my work. When I collect these moments of inspiration I feel like I want to make something.
What is the most frightening experience you have ever had?
I was climbing Mt. Ishizuchi on my own in April. There was still a lot of snow left but I wasn’t prepared at all. When I was going down, I thought I wouldn’t make it and die any second!
What is your favourite Japanese food?
Well…loads things. Takoyaki! Oh no, maybe it’s Udon. Yep, it’s Udon!
What do you enjoy most about creating art?
The process of actually making work isn’t that enjoyable. It’s monotonous work and takes so long I find it almost agonising. However, I very much enjoy (looking at) the finished piece especially when it surprises me or turns out to be something beyond my imagination. I work hard for these moments.
What is there a process behind creating your art?
I try to explore and try to do lots of different things like catching fish, for instance. While I developed my ideas, I try to find out more about materials (In this case, I experimented with indigo dying). It gradually connected with what I want to express in Yorii-za and when I have a clear image of the work I start creating it.
How did you discover your passion for art?
Many little things built up.
Do you think you have a particular technique/
Using fibres and fabrics..
Do you find art difficult?
Interpersonal relations or an English interview like this (laugh). Although, I’m not good at interviews even in Japanese..
If I gave you this piece of face-
Panda?! Put some cucumber…I would eat it in one mouthful.
How do you feel in Kamiyama?
The relationship between people and nature is wonderful.
What is your favourite smell?
Mountains when it’s a little wet and moss and vegetation. Wood… I like the smell of forests.
How would you like your art to relate to Kamiyama and its residents?
I don’t have locals around to help me make actual work but I talk to them a lot about everyday things or what happened/what was it like before in kamiyama. It changed my idea about kamiyama. Also, I find it very interesting to see this place through somebody else’s memory. I’m sure it influences my work in kamiyama.
What is the worst thing you’ve ever made?
Nothing terrible, just boring! (It’s boring when) I can’t bring accidents and fortuity into my work. I think it’s boring to have it just as my brain imagined it.
What other jobs have you done and how does it inform your art?
For three years I taught weaving in college. I felt that making and teaching is not so different, but now I want to work on my own. I’m convinced that I love making things myself.
What do you dislike about your work?
What is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
This interview is good but some newspaper interviews want you to answer questions in a certain way. I find it extremely painful. Also, advice like ‘come to a compromise’.
In your opinion,
When it comes to life or death, maybe art isn’t so important. But I also think that people need something to enrich their life by being surprised by something or finding pleasure in something. We want to see beautiful things. In this sense I definitely think art is very important.
What is your favourite sound?
Insects, birds, different things around me (ambient natural sounds).
Who is the best artist/
Music by Kiyoshiro Imawano cheers me up and make me happy. His lyrics are fantastic, too.
Can you describe Kamiyama in one word?
I think it’s leading to a bright future.
What would you like for your birthday?
I want a house! The Beatles, good food.
How do you feel when you present your work to the public?
I think it takes time to understand what a work is all about. It’s not easy to understand it the first time but as time passes by it all comes to you, just like thoughts.
It’s more important to have the viewer think about my work later, so it’s in their memory.
If you are a vegetable,
Do you have a weakness?
Giving a speech in front of people. I don’t know what to do!
Thank you to all the artists for their time.
Everyone, good luck with the exhibition preparations and I’m looking forward to seeing it all finished.
Rufus ‘Ru san’ Ward
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