Fusing his native Japanese innocence with contemporary primal instincts, Kentaro Kobukes first solo show in Hong Kong warms and grabs the heart with an evocative fantasy world filled with contours, masks and the transcendence of men into nature and nature into men.
Some people wear the marks, language and nuances of their culture more than others; these could be anything desired, despised, worshipped or sacrificed. On Kobuke's paintings, drawings and sculptures, they are coded into motifs and shapes, hung and drawn on beast-like countenance unto allusive surfaces such as cherry wood slabs and vintage aerogram via which Kobuke explores the split nature of cultural identity as well as information hybridization within our social hierarchy.
Drawing inspirations from the aesthetics of 18th century artworks from Japan, Kobuke engages in a form of story telling which tend to be contained within a single painting or illustration. Referencing pornography and animism, his works document the contemporary myth-making of endangered cultural heritage.
Eyes are often the centres of focus, calling to mind the Japanese tradition of filling Daruma statuettes' pupils to make wishes and set goals. Somewhat hollow, even sinister, Kobuke's unfocused eyes aspire to child-like state of innocence, connoting both the observing and the observed. Does it epitomize the melancholy of a younger generation? Or simply voicing their misrepresentation?
Born in Hiroshima in 1975, Kobuke graduated with an MA in Fine Art from the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2009. Since then he's been based in London. Over the past ten years, he has held solo shows in Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, Seoul and London, in addition to taking part in a variety of group exhibitions. His recent exhibitions include Mokume, Daiwa-Anglo Japanese Foundation, London, 2011.
Art is Long, Life is Short. Identity Art Gallery
brings together visionary art identities who respect art as a lifelong, enduring creative endeavour existing outside the realms of fads and fashion. We discover and promote artists from all four corners of the world, whose strong inner visions foster, seduce, confront and bolster our identities across a diverse range of media, in unusual, direct and lasting manners. Beauty and colours are our mutual interest; simplicity and integrity our common language. Forging links and synergies among like-minded artists, collectors, galleries and curators through solo exhibitions and group collaborations, our ultimate vision is to cultivate an environment where creativity and identities may further flourish.