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Chitchatting with Friends: Kensuke Koike

A glimpse onto the world of Kensuke Koike: from Japan to Italy, through suggestions, journeys, dreams and passions, behind the scenes of a constant flow of creations by a truly unique artist.

by Giacomo Donati

What are the fundamental stages of your artistic career?

I have always wanted to be an artist, from an early age. In high school I spent a year abroad, in Venice, so, after finishing high school, I decided to return to Italy to continue my studies. At the beginning I wanted to be a painter, then, once I arrived back in Venice to do the Academy of Fine Arts, the lack of space available in the room I occupied faced me with the problem of where I could paint and keep the canvases. I would have easily sacrificed space for my works, but it would have been difficult to convince my roommate to put up with the smell of acrylic paints every day, so one day I took a camera and started making video art. From there, step by step, we can say that I have adapted to the circumstances, up to what I do now, following the principle that I prefer to work on ideas, rather than on techniques, in the sense that when you have a clear idea of ​​where you want to go, the materials are not the most important thing. Now I work with images, but it is not certain that in the future I will not turn to other materials.

What are or have been your points of reference?

When I was in Japan, I often went to museums and theaters with my mother, who took me almost everywhere, feeding my curiosity. I was very fascinated not only by the works of architects and artists, but above all by the process that led them making their dreams come true, so I spent a lot of time seeing sketches, prototypes, everything behind the final work. Above all, I remember in particular a large exhibition at the Prefectural Museum of Art in Aichi on the unconventional genius of Richard Buckminster Fuller, his original creations and the concept of creating starting from a module that is then reproduced on various scales. This and many other exhibitions have fed my imagination.

Where are you going now?

It is difficult to say, I would be curious to know it too. Necessarily beyond, to avoid any feeling of complacency, but whatever the direction it is, it will certainly be a very personal impulse to dictate it, because I must first of all be passionate about something, in order to transmit this passion in the resulting works.

What is your favorite place in Japan?

Wherever you eat well! And wherever you can see that moment of beauty that encompasses the cherry blossom, a phenomenon that seems to me to find its perfect synthesis only in Japan. If I really have to identify a place, I would say the Ise Grand Shrine, where I went with my whole family, also to savor the azuki bean sweets.

How important is music in your work? what are you listening to in this period?

I listen distractedly to music and listen to a little of everything, but when I work I need absolute silence, to think but also to hear, for example, the noise of the cuts I make on paper.

A dream in the drawer.

A robot that passes on and executes my accumulated knowledge.