Interview: Mariko Kumon
Luca Curci talks with Mariko Kumon, one of the Honorable Mention winners during the ITSLIQUID International Contest – 8th edition.
Mariko Kumon is a Japanese artist who lives in Barcelona, Spain. She graduated in applied mathematics from Fukuoka University in Japan. Almost twenty years ago she changed her life and began to study art. She studied casting and sculpture at the La Llotja Superior School of Design and Art in Barcelona and became particularly interested in creating installations. She sells a small line of jewelry at the Joan Miró Museum. For her, the sculpture is the most common form of expression as it allows her to describe life with deep emotions. Depending on the moment and state of the creative process, she intuitively plays with spontaneity and expression. Also for her, the line transmuted into the wire is the personal representation of her ideas and thoughts. A line that, curving, twisting and undulating, seeks to find its own space from the inside. These suggestive power lines convey moods, thus building a personal language.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Mariko Kumon – I studied Applied Mathematics at Fukuoka University in Japan and I worked at the university for 11 years. Although I loved art from childhood, I was an observer of art for many years. When I was 48 I started an art career. Almost 20 years ago I completely changed my life. I started living in Barcelona 13 years ago and went to the art school (Escola La Llotja). I have learned many different ways to express myself. First of all, art was good therapy for me because of overcoming depression. After starting to live in Barcelona, some issues have changed. I had to accept so many different customs and cultures. I started to struggle with the relation little by little. Then I began to express my feelings and what I thought in my works.
LC – Which subject are you working on?
MK – No one has experienced this experience, which we have virtually closed for over a year. Very anxious and frustrated feelings. So I’m working on this feeling.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MK – I like to observe everything. People, trees, flowers, animals, everything. So much of my inspiration comes from that observation. Luckily, I live in a house with a big garden so I can see so many changes in the seasons. Each one is so simple but sensitive.
LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
MK – I am very interested in the line, and what interests me is not the straight line, but the curved and chaotic one. I can see the beauty in the chaos. I try to use different materials to express unexpected lines and combine them with other solid materials.
LC – How do you choose your subjects? Is it a reasoned or an instinctive process?
MK – It is a topic that I’m basically interested in, or it was proposed to me by someone or some opportunity. I try to get all the suggestions as much as possible to experiment. I choose the subjects for instinct, I choose a topic instinctively, but in some cases, it was proposed to me by someone or some opportunity. I try to get all suggestions as much as possible to experiment. Because I think it can open another world.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
MK – Copying beautiful things as they are beautiful takes a lot of time, technique and effort. It is one of the artistic scenes and it never goes away. As opposed to expressing our thoughts and sharing our thoughts. Contemporary art has many ways of expressing it and is suitable for our complex world. When I was depressed, I had the experience of getting stuck in front of some paintings. I couldn’t breathe. I felt like a part of the work. That was the so-called ‘not beautiful one’. But I sympathized with the expression and I understood the suffering of the artist. And his work caught me. I think some people can share their feelings or emotion without explanation.