Lives and Works: Japan
Durians. Haw Par Villa. HDB. Award-winning Japanese artist Teppei Kaneuji was so intrigued by the local landscape that he devoted a section of his residency to producing Singapore-inspiredworks reflecting the flavour of the city. Kaneuji produced over 80 fresh artworks during his 6-week collaboration with STPI. Visitors to “Endless, Nameless (Constructions)” can expect dynamic two and three-dimensional works in every colour, shape and form, reflecting the artist’s joyous exploration of print methods and a development in his ongoing preoccupation with objects and reconstruction. Bearing his signature collage of Japanese manga illustrations and everyday items, these playful artworks are affordable—prices ranging between SGD4,000 and SGD32,000—and will be on view at STPI from 20 September – 25 October 2014.
To the artist, Singapore exemplified the ‘collage’. “Multi-cultures are blended together like chaos and order in one place. I was very much drawn to that, and I was particularly influenced by the shape, colours and spaces of Haw Par Villa,” says Kaneuji. “I saw the collaboration with STPI as an extension of collage too. Sharing ideas and working together regardless of language and culture—this is deeply tied to that concept.”
The STPI residency provided Kaneuji space to not only build upon existing ideas but to incite new discoveries, engendering the exploration of the relationship between the ‘formless’ image and the ‘tangible’ object. The artist toys with our notions of reality and fiction, exploring dimensions, contexts and shapes in hand-sewn soft sculptures. Kaneuji blends familiarity with the unexpected, delivering complexity and plurality of objects in the most tasteful and visually engaging manner. This new body of work negotiates real and imagined spaces in striking assemblages that provoke much imagination and tease the mind.
“This is why he is a very relevant artist. He’s a visual arts DJ with a very different way of seeing the world.
He’s a mixer of ready-made elements who collects bits and pieces that have no existing relationship and reconstructs them into something visually exciting—a whole new world and order to things,” says STPI Chief Printer Eitaro Ogawa.
Kaneuji has exhibited in major cities around the world including Shanghai, Sydney, St Petersburg, New York, Los Angeles and Gwangju, and has participated in the 2011 Singapore Biennale. Public art collections include the Yokohama Museum of Art, Mori Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. He is represented by ShugoArts (Tokyo), Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney), Lombard Freid Gallery (New York) and Eslite Gallery (Taipei).
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