Making fantasies real: A conversation with artist Kunihiko Nohara

Making fantasies real: A conversation with artist Kunihiko Nohara

Imagination takes flight

Text: Varsha Sivaram

Image: Kunihiko Nohara
Image: Galerie F&F
Image: Gallery UG

From the realm of human possibility to his artistic view of Singapore, artist Kunihiko Nohara shares his thoughts

One of the 18 Japanese artists in the line-up for the upcoming exhibition 'Laissez-faire', Kunihiko Nohara is a seasoned wood sculptor. Erring on the side of the unconventional, figurines are covered in some interesting things in his work, such as clouds, juices and even eggs.

'Laissez-faire' revolves around ideas of artistic liberty and experimentation, which Nohara himself describes as "letting it be" and being "uncontrolled". The artists are given free reign by the gallery, so look forward to some captivating artwork. 

Surreal and visually striking, Nohara's own sculptures seemingly revolve around themes of loneliness and freedom – or so we think. Read further for his insights on how people perceive his work and what it really means.

Loneliness and a desire for freedom are universal experiences, but you express them in such unique and distinct ways. How did you come about developing your own style in this area?

Well I don't intentionally portray such themes. Also what's interesting is how each of us sees and perceives art works differently. Personally I don't feel like my works embody such themes [laughs]; but perhaps, my own loneliness has seeped into my art subconsciously.

Kunihiko Nohara

What are Omelet mantle and Milky way all about?

For Milky Way, I made the sculpture to express my desire to live in a refrigerator. Also, when you think of humans being covered in omelette or juice as seen in my works, you know it's not humanly possible. However, I want to show that it is possible to make fantasies real or at least in a more tangible form.

Related story: Five exhibitions to catch this month

Kunihiko Nohara

Is there anything about Singapore that interests you artistically?

I really like the buildings, it's very different from Japan. Also the amount of nature you have managed to incorporate into the city environment. On our way from Changi Airport, we saw so many lovely tropical trees. I noticed some of your buildings also have very interesting designs that incorporate nature in it, like leaves.

Kunihiko Nohara

Are there any other artists in the exhibition whom you'd like to recommend or highlight for people coming to view 'Laissez-faire'?

I really like Kana Uchida's work. Her art concept is quite similar to my own, which is a kind of colourful and pop style. Perhaps one would feel something dark about her works too. The artist is very young, and I see huge potential in her.

To see more of his work, head down to 'Laissez-faire' till 24 May at The Luxe Art Museum, 6 Handy Road, #02-01, Singapore 229234. More details can be found here