Kentaro Okawara

Kentaro Okawara is a painter and sculptor based in Tokyo, Japan. Since graduating from the College of Arts, Tokyo Polytechnic University in 2011, He has been exhibited internationally and had five ‘art books’ published. Okawara’s work explores his long held belief that making art is an expression of love and a means to connect with each other. Each piece presents a surreal yet familiar cast of characters; a cocktail of humans, creatures, and personified objects interact with each other in intimate and bizarre ways to create a world that can be endearingly engaged by all. Within Okawara’s world of bright colours and stylised motifs he addresses the importance of direct eye-to-eye and face-to-face communication. In this digital age where we seem to exchange our thoughts and feelings primarily over the Internet, Okawara’s work encourages us to think again, cast aside our differences and re-connect to our shared humanity

Untitled (Selected daily work, July – August)

I started these series in June of last year. I’ve been drawing them as a kind of training in my days in the studio. I love to go abroad to see and experience things I don’t know, and I love to hang out with my friends, so I have been inspired by those experiences to create my works. I’ve been in the studio all last year and this year. I’ve realized that inspiration doesn’t come from outside, but from within, and I’ve been working hard to believe that.

These five pieces were selected from the work I did between July and August of this year. The reason why I do not have titles for my works is to avoid losing the diversity of my works through the images of words. I am painting love. I paint love, and I hope that love is diverse, and that the way the work is perceived is also diverse. I hope to enjoy these paintings. Thank you.

  • 420 × 297 mm, 594 × 420 mm, 840 × 594 mm, 1188 × 840 mm, 1680 × 1188 mm
  • Pigment print
  • 2021
  • Coming soon.
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1. Picture Speech

Illustration works on media such as books and posters often express topics written in text using images. The texts are prepared first and illustrations interpret them. In ‘Picture Speech’, we change the order so that the viewer faces the pictures which had been prepared first and the texts that interpreted them. Through this, we want to experiment with the interaction between images and texts. Illustrators from numerous countries present pictures that were created based on various issues in the contemporary era—ranging from human rights, gender issues, the New Normal, a pandemic and real estate. The pictures consist of five different sizes that contain consecutive or related narratives. Pen Union (Hana Kim & Sunwoo Hwang), a duo who have written and talked about many different ways of life and stories, add writings to these pictures. This chapter is a conversation between pictures and texts about issues that we can all relate to these days. In addition, we hope this chapter will provide an opportunity to reverse the stereotype that texts are clear and rational while pictures are an ambiguous and emotional way of expression.

Slowly with a turtle
Quickly with a crane
With a Turtle
With a Crane