Durians. Haw Par Villa. Your 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-inspired works 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, fun and endless in their visual and structural possibilities.
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 not only allowed him to expand on these existing concepts, it also incited new discoveries for Kaneuji, namely the cognizant relationship between the ‘formless’ image and the ‘tangible’ object. Here, flat manga illustrations of objects are rendered in tactile mediums like plywood, mirrors and thick handmade paper, taking on form and substance for the first time, dissolving the gap between reality and fiction.
Kaneuji’s artistic practice 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 form, where random assemblages provoke the 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. His work is shown in public art collections such as the Yokohama Museum of Art, Mori Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. He is represented by ShugoArts, Tokyo.
Event: Endless, Nameless (Constructions)
Dates: 20 September – 18 October 2014
Venue: Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI), 41 Robertson Quay