Two years out of art school, I'm starting to see the strong role that the formative years — that critical time that shapes adult sensibilities — plays in artwork. I've always viewed my formative years as being the year-plus I lived in Japan in my early 20s. There was this big sensibility shift, a re-arranged outlook. Living and working in Kyoto helped shape my aesthetic, an appreciation for the spare and the pure, and I've since been hanging onto that, like that one ad slogan that was plastered all over the subway stations in typical Japanglish: "Enjoy your simple life."
But I can't ignore the fact that my work is emerging as anything but simple, pure or meditative. It's more likely chaotic, restless and a little disturbing. At least that's what they tell me; I find that jarring colour and pattern interruption kind of soothing. So where does that come from?
Sometimes you can be too close to the tree to see the forest, or in my case, the amusement park. I had wrapped up a week as on-site coordinator for the PNE's Container Art show last week before I realized my brain was revving up as the tarmac filled with trucked-in rides. I felt the joy-joy-joy at being surrounded by all these circular patterns of chaotic colour, a sort of comforting exhilaration.
Now I'm seeing it.