Over the past month and a half I have been exploring the artist Kenn Sakurai also know as Esm-artificial. On February 11th, 2014 I presented the research and exporations done to that point, to two of the first year studio 1 profs and a guest critic. My goal was to have the critics understand the process and how it led to where I was to that date and my plans for further exploration.
This is essentially what was presented:
The artist I have been exploring is Kenn Sakurai, also known as Esm- Artificial. He is a Canadian artist, with a Japanese background. Kenn graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of art and design. He focuses on pop culture, graphic design and satire. A number of his designs include musical icons or reference his hobbies, interests or beliefs. He enjoys taking his art to new heights. Screen prints, wood working, stickers, postcards, apparel, are just a few of the areas he has mastered. The particular work I chose to explore is the cigar cedar sheets print, untitled and unknown location. This is yet another serigraphy print of his, but with an unusual twist. Printing on wood rather than paper shows his interest in exploring new boundaries. The design also demonstrates the clean and simplistic qualities of the majority of his work. Like said before this is a serigraphy print, also known as a silk screen printing.By filling the pin holes in the stretched material kenn sakurai is able to choose what to reveal and what to conceal through layering the colours on top of another. I have done screen prints before but like Esm, it was a new experience printing on wood. Depending on the type of grain, the paint will apply differently. Even though the process was the same for me, it was a whole new experience. This theme of revealing and concealing, captivated me. It takes a lot of planning to predict the outcome of the final product and even then, you never know what it will exactly look like. Consumerism is an important aspect of his, so taking advantage of this layering process Kenn is able to make a new set of prints by simply changing one layer. Working with kinetic sculpture I explored this theme by using layering to manipulate what is revealed and concealed. Also how manipulating these layers can make a totally different shape but not changing the physicality of the object. So what I did was, layered shaped plates on a single axis. By rotating different plates you are consistently altering the image to make it unique.I think that the next step is to explore materials as Kenn sakurai does and investigate the characteristics of different materials and how they can reveal or conceal differently. Whether it be through light opacity or density.
I felt that the presentation went smoothly and as planned. Once I had finished, many of the professors seemed to be interested in my exploration and understood the concepts of Kenn Sakurai’s work. Taj (first year professor) felt that the sand exploration was more intriguing and exemplified my artists style better. The relationship between the sand and the light and how it revealed better mirrored the process of screen printing. Earlier on my professor, Karen Conty also felt this way, hoping I would explore this model further. By layering multiple boxes on top of one another I would be able to demonstrate multiple layers and experiment with what is revealed and concealed. Eric Archambault (guest critic) appreciated the work created but made it apparent that I should not lose touch with visual aspects of my artists works. I agree that I have drifted off from many aesthetic values of Esm’s work. When looking through the themes developed by my artist, I chose a theme that was about the process in which the art was constructed. Taking the advice from the critics I would like to explore the sand. I will construct more layers and see where that takes me. Also to involve and hold onto the other visual aspects of Esm’s work like colour, sugggested by Eric. I feel the crit was very beneficial to me and my further research. I am excited to move forward and interested in what is to come.