Artist Interviews 2013: Susken Rosenthal

Aritst interview 2013.10.10



Furious artist face ↑ Look's like hard work no?

So, Susken.. shall we begin? 

What made you apply for the Kamiyama Artist in Residence program? 
I always wanted to go to Japan for many many years and I checked on the internet for possibilities for residencies and I found this one; I was totally excited that it was so nice and kind of countryside style and it sounded perfect so..I applied.

Describe your work in one word

Do you have a special method for generating your ideas?
I work from two sides: one is from looking at things and the other is what's in my head and I try to connect those two.

What is the most frightening experience you have ever had?
In art? Oh that’s too private. Oh but here it’s the centipedes.

What is your favourite Japanese food?
So many favourite foods. Oh dear. I have to think.. It’s always the last one I ate! And, the last one I ate last was yesterday and it was a smoked egg.

What do you enjoy most about creating art?
I enjoy the process actually, you come with a vague idea and you make them more precise while youre doing it. Realising an idea is exciting.

What does Kamiyama lack? What does it need?
I missed a cupboard with basic tools to start with.

How did you discover your passion for art?
When I was 19 after high school and that was in London in the British museum and I started to draw and paint and that was what I wanted.

Do you think you have a particular technique/style?
 I wish I had. Sometimes I feel I lack a special technique but on the other hand I think it's a method of lacking techniques so the technique is always secondary. First comes the idea then you think about how to develop a technique to realise it.

Do you find art difficult?
Ha! No.. depends; sometimes it can be really hard but sometimes.. No I don't find it difficult, its natural.

If you had really long arms for one month, what would you do?
Well I do have really long arms! Well, I would cut them into two and then I would have four arms and I could do more projects at the same time!

How do you feel in Kamiyama?
I feel perfect. The friendliness of the people is so overwhelming. I feel erm, like I am being carried by this friendliness of Kamiyama; it's incredible.

How would you like your art to relate to Kamiyama and its residents?
Usually I work in public spaces so I do the same here and what I always do is related to the location and to the people because it's in a public space and it's for everyone to see and this is a very important aspect for me. My ideas are connected to the environment so it reflects also the surroundings.

What is the worst thing you've ever made?
Once I built a triple object which should have been hanging in balance at a straight angle and I worked on it for two months and then I hanged it from the ceiling and it wasn't hanging straight but diagonally! So it was completely the opposite effect so that was very bad. It's better to make a static one first before you build something big!

What do you think about this ham? 00011352.jpg
That's so horrible.. No no no. I don't like laughing dead animals.

What do you dislike about your work?
That its always so much work so I feel like I become a slave to my idea.

What is the worst piece of advice you have ever been given?
I'm my own worst adviser so I should listen to other people more!

What is the best smell?
Sudachi (!)

Who inspires you?
In the beginning a lot of renaissance art, especially Leonardo da vinci with his movement drawings was very very inspiring. Later it was conceptual artists like Walter de Maria, Sol Lewitt, and.. John Cage also. But it's all connected to phases; at the moment I'm just working and not relating too much..

Can you describe Kamiyama in one word?

If you lived in Kamiyama forever what would you do?
Have a studio, work in the studio, cook, invite people. I don’t know, special projects.. Being on a residency is very different to being stationary in a country so when you are living here you have to think over the borders of Kamiyama.. You have to think about money, it’s not so easy.. Maybe become a teacher like you! That would be very reasonable I think!

How do you feel when you show your work to the public?
Nervous. Nervous and sometimes excited so ; it's a nice feeling when I am happy about my work but if I'm not so happy then.. I'm more nervous. About this work, here, I'm feeling quite nervous. I hope it will work out and make people happy.

If you were a sound, what would you be?
Ough. Maybe a sigh! What do you think I am? A gong? It would be the nice to be the sound of water, but maybe someone else has to tell me what sound I am.

Do you have a weakness?
Artistically or psychologically? Yeah. Sometimes I have a lack of concentration.

Ich danke Ihnen sehr Susken.



Itoi-san - Kanuma soil. Likes salmon sashimi, dislikes entrails of sea cucumber. Ru-san - Lancashire hotpot. Creative type. Likes being outdoors. Dislikes status. Together we are ITOI ARTS a project in divergent creativity in the mountains of Shikoku, Japan. 四国の山奥、多様な創作、アートとは。 //イベント時のみオープン// \\ふだんはただの家//

Articles by itoi+ru-san


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