Artist in Focus: Kensuke K.

Written By: Ahona Salsabil

To Kensuke K., art is “predominantly a medium of self – expression.” Bamboo Telegraph’s second artist in focus is a senior and an IB HL Art student, whose approach to art is one of a kind. Kensuke views art as a pure means of self expression. He is an artist who acknowledges his flaws and constantly strives to improve.

What inspires you to pursue art?

Art has been a thing for me for quite a long time now. There’s no particular event that has actually got me into art so much. I think it’s just been a lifelong thing because I’ve been drawing ever since I remember being alive. It’s just always been a part of my life.

Which style of art do you identify with the most and what mediums do you prefer to use?

Nowadays, I usually work with acrylic paint on canvas and I mix it up by using Sharpies and incorporating them to add finishing touches. I generally like drawing, but lately, I’ve been getting into painting as well, so it’s just a mix of those things. Also, I’ve been experimenting with spray painting so I just do whatever interests me at the moment.

What kind of message do you want to convey through your art?

Personally, I just really like making art and I don’t really think about the message. For example, for one of my works, it was 2 am when an idea popped up and so I started working on it mindlessly. I just put my expression into the canvas first and think of what it means afterwards. So really, I’m more of a spontaneous artist rather than a planned one.

However, being an IB student, I am somewhat forced to incorporate messages into the artwork. So the overarching theme for my IB portfolio is simplicity vs. complexity. Some of my works generally deal with how societal pressure shapes an individual’s mind and how their individuality isn’t entirely influenced by the community around them. Most of the time, I try to keep my works simple and straightforward.

From your portfolio, which pieces do you feel are the most iconic or unique to your style? What do you think really stands out?

Among all the works I’ve done, the only work I really feel proud of is the piece with the hands on the face. It’s really great as well that it has been displayed on the Course Offerings Book 2016 – 2017. Other than that, I feel that it’s just the nature of an artist to not like your own work, or not be satisfied with it. I do feel proud in the beginning coming up with a fresh idea and feeling so inspired and all but as you work on it, it seems that you can’t think of anything but the flaws. But that piece in particular, I’m pretty proud of. Other than that, it’s never satisfying for me.

Which piece has presented the greatest challenge for you to create?

There’s not a particular piece but the works that I’ve done this senior year have really pushed me to become a more defined practicing artist – mostly because Mr. Kucharski really pushes me to integrate themes or messages in my works. At first, I was really frustrated because as first year in the IB began, I was more focused on creating work that’s aesthetically pleasing, rather than pieces that convey meaning. But the second year has been about being more mature and Mr. K has been really inspiring. He really likes the meanings behind all the works. I really struggled at first because I never worked that way, but being in Mr. Kucharski’s class has changed my work ethic in a good way to having at least a small plan of how the work will turn out even though I don’t know it just yet. And a shoutout to Ms. Dodd – she has also given me so much inspiration and advice throughout my years. In the end, the teachers have really helped me cope with the challenges.  

What are your plans for the future?

(Laughs) I don’t know what that means but I really like art so I do hope that I will have some opportunities in the future to continue pursuing art for any reason. I don’t plan to be an artist but if I’m ever going to continue art, it would be for recreational purposes. If I go a little further than that, maybe I’d consider taking it for some minor course on painting. At this point, it’s just a hobby, nothing serious.