KEN IS BORN IN 1974 IN TOKYO, JAPAN. HIS WORKS ARE CHARACTERIZED BY A SIMPLE EXPRESSION OF CONFLICTING IDEAS. PLASTIC OR SOFT TOYS FOR CHILDREN ARE COMBINED WITH OBJECTS, WHICH REPRESENT SEX, VIOLENCE AND MORE. READ OUR INTERVIEW.
E.T., Snoopy, Charlie Brown are some of your most worked characters, is there any particular interest behind them? Where the obsession comes from?
These characters are easy to draw and easily recognized by everyone – these is my main reason to using them.
How did you start to get involved with art?
This just happened very naturally!
“Strange” is a fundamental concept for you. What’s the “strangest” aspect in the art world today?
Artworks in and of themselves are arranged. This is why the art world is so attractive to me.
Is there something that you criticize in the art system?
Yes and no… I use a critical irony to create humor – and to make art.
You create “The Strange Store” a place and a shop where you can do and sell whatever you want, how did you came up with that and do you consider it also as an art project?
First of all, I wanted to make a store in which I can self produce whatever I want. I realized that and this is also a part of my work while continuing the strange store. Now I am thinking that this is also my art work.
What’s your relationship with art galleries and exhibitions? Would you like to do more?
Galleries are very important for me and making exhibitions is also important. I would like to make large works and to continue showing.
Collecting things could be an art practice? Can you talk about your E.T and Garfield collection?
It’s a similar idea to a kid collecting toys. When I was a child I could not buy a lot of toys so I’m buying as much as I want now. This became a part of my inspiration.
I saw that your daughter Tan is a very talented artist and she already did an exhibition; does she judge your artworks? Do you use to ask her opinion?
She is asking ,”Why this work is interesting?” In such a case, I am really answering her. It’s doesn’t matter if she understands or not, but I am teaching her that it’s important to feel that something is interesting when she sees something.
What’s you ideal workplace? And what should not be missed in it?
Work place: big space which has nothing. What I should not miss – iPhone.
Is your home your favorite workplace? Do you use to create timetable or do you need some deadlines?
I have a studio next to my house. I like it. I only think about art in the studio. Once I have an idea, making art is not taking so much time to complete; so I don’t have a specific schedule.
Looking at your work it seems like you never stop to create… Have you ever suffer of a creative block?
I never suffer.