Interview: Yoko Kitazaki
Luca Curci talks with Yoko Kitazaki during the 4th Edition of ROME INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at Medina Art Gallery.
Yoko Kitazaki was born in Kyoto in 1964 and still lives in this cultural art city in Japan. She learned oil painting from an early age and studied dyeing at the Kyoto City University of Arts. Currently, Kitazaki creates abstract acrylic paintings that incorporate the thick technique of oil painting and the flat design of dyeing. Activities in Japan include participating in group exhibitions and holding solo exhibitions. Recent her solo painting exhibitions were held in Kyoto City in April and October 2020. Since 2020, she has been active abroad and has participated in more than 20 exhibitions in Europe and the United States. Among them, many works have been exhibited at exhibitions organized by Divulgarti in Italy and ARconTE association in Spain. The main exhibition was “Art Collection” at Futeres Art Gallery of Palazzo Pisani-Revedin in Venezia in 2021. In Italy, she exhibited at Ea Arte Club’s “Art Palermo International Biennial” in 2021 and ITSLIQUID Group’s “Roma International Art Fair 2022-4th” at Medina Art Gallery. The other exhibitions were online solo exhibitions: Sep 2021/Jan 2022/May 2022. And she participated “Made in Japan” exhibition at NoHo M55 Gallery in New York City in 2022 organized by JCAT (Japanese Contemporary Artist Team).The most important exhibitions were in Paris, she has participated “Salon d’Automne” at Grande Halle de La Villette in 2022, “Art shopping Paris- Salon International d’art Contemporain” at Carrousel du Louvre in 2022. In publications, the work appeared in issues #5 and #6 of “Art International Contemporary Magazine” directed by Salvatore Russo in 2021. Kitazaki considers art to be a universal language and has a message in her work. Duality is always rooted in the themes of her production which contains the message of “seeing the whole phenomenon from the viewpoint of the mind.” An example of duality is “Day and Night”, a seamless natural phenomenon. She believes that we are one without boundaries that coexist on one planet. It’s a very important message to convey to the people of the world. Therefore, she is exhibiting not only in Japan but also overseas. As a feature of the work, she changes smooth paint with a special technique to create “movement, flow, luster, lumps, and cracks” and so on. She uses a number of these different textures on a single screen, and she depicts the landscape deep inside her heart. She prays that those works will heal people’s hearts and become a positive energy.
Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Yoko Kitazaki – I have studied oil painting, dyeing and fused glass and have worked with those techniques. For the past three years, I have been painting abstracts in acrylic paint. That abstraction has the flat design of dyeing and the textural imagery of fused glass. The reason for the change in technique is that acrylic paint dries quickly, allowing me to finish the painting before the deep thoughts that well up inside me disappear. In Europe, I work mainly in Italy. I love Italy because of its open-mindedness to show the world new artistic expressions.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
YK – I sometimes listen to music to visualize the inner images of my mind. The music I choose varies from time to time, whether it is a classical piano sonata or old-time rock. Melodies and lyrics become abstract lines and shapes, and emotions become colors.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
YK – I want visitors to receive healing and positive energy from my paintings. Their feedback and suggestions also give me energy and new ideas for my next work.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
YK – My work is characterized by a variety of textures. I depict mental images in a style that combines these textures. To create these textures, I made many prototypes. Now I create my works by controlling the techniques at will.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
YK – An important theme for me is duality. Different events are connected by interacting with each other. An example is “Day and Night”. There are no boundaries, everything is one. I believe that we are one being without boundaries coexisting on one planet, the Earth. This is a very important message to convey to the people of the world in these unstable times.
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the exhibition?
YK – Art fairs serve to embrace a wide variety of expressions and at the same time connect artists from all over the world. This is the same concept as my theme, and I am very pleased.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
YK – I have exhibited two paintings at the “Rome International Art Fair 2022”. These are two of my recent series of four “Portrait of my Heart” paintings. The story behind each of the two paintings is as follow
Enjoy this Life
Free your mind and be free.
Only you can fill your heart with happiness.
Embrace change so that you will not regret this life.
That is what it means to live life as you are.
The Filling Blue Passion
What fills the depths of your heart?
My heart is filled with art, like a blue lake.
A precious lake that never ran dry even when my heart was broken by sorrow and suffering.
I believe that the water that springs from it can then heal you.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
YK – Based in this beautiful city, I feel that the ITSLIQUID GROUP will provide many opportunities for artists from around the world and lead them to the next stage of their careers.
LC – What are your suggestions about our services? Is there something more we can provide to artists?
YK – After accumulating experience exhibiting my work in various Italian cities and in Paris and New York, I imagine that one day I would be happiest if I could have a solo exhibition abroad. I would be very grateful if you could continue to support my activities in Italy.