Bangkok-Melbourne based artist Kenz conceives glorious characters empowered by his childhood memories and love of animation. The stages of dreaming inspire his work, as he examines his fascination with the human state of mind as he seeks to awaken nostalgic emotions.
Deploying euphoric characters formed by bold graphics and memorable lines that secure an energetic spectrum of colours producing a subtle yet vibrating influence.
My main inspiration generally focuses on the concept of nostalgia and innocent childhood memories which I try to recall those unexplainable nostalgic feelings through the paintings.
Illuminated by an artificial glow that displays the shiny appearance of urban vinyl you would encounter in collectable Bearbrick or KAWS figurines. Kenz presents an authentic critique of his adolescent memories through his incredible use of colour, shape and imagination.
Q: What is your inspiration, and why do you do what you do?
A: My main inspiration generally focuses on the concept of nostalgia and innocent childhood memories which I try to recall those unexplainable nostalgic feelings through the paintings. Growing up watching and reading ‘Doraemon’ by old-school comic artist Fujio F Fujiko has given me the special type of joy I would like others to experience the same in my works. I guess I’m just chasing that experience I felt many years ago.
Since a young age, drawing & painting has always provided me with some kind of therapeutic satisfaction. It has been super fun so why not.
Q: Can you tell us about your creative process?
A: Each piece has a different kind of process, some piece comes from an instant idea I had a long time ago that I haven’t explored, and some piece requires more hands-on time and thought process to finalise it. Once an idea is completed, I usually do a rough sketch on paper, then a more refined digital sketch on tablet then go back and forth until I’m happy with the sketch.
Then the painting process begins, and sometimes I change things at the last minute like colours or elements if I don’t feel right with how colours complement each other. All my colours are premixed in small containers by myself. Each color generally has around 6-11 shades.
Q: What is the reason behind your fusion of the conscious/unconscious mind with bold lines in your works?
A: It comes from the human state of mind, memories and the tension between consciousness and unconsciousness. I’m always interested in how artificial object like personal favourite toy from early life have the ability to bring such strong visual memories during both conscious and subconscious mind like when we sleep and I personally feel that bold layering lines gives that dynamism that presents artificialness of plastic toy/object accurately.
Q: What was the first piece of art you made that cemented your path as an artist?
A: It was this specific one piece I created for the City of Melbourne project in Australia a couple years ago, I created 8 mural pieces overall but this one piece just made me feel super right somehow. After spending like 30+hrs painting on this one big wall in 2 days I still had energy and couldn’t wait to start a next wall.
Q: What was your most memorable exhibition, and why?
A: In 2016, when I was 21 I had the opportunity of showing solo works in a small space inside a bar in Melbourne for the first time. The space wasn’t gallery kind or anything but rather a cozy one but full with like-minded individuals.
During the opening, most of my closed-friends and people I knew showed up to support and party. Later on several of us went painting in an abandoned building with full of laughter all night till almost next morning and somehow that was just one of my happiest exhibition ever. It just couldn’t feel more right.
Q: What is your favourite piece, and why?
A: Difficult to choose, but more recently would be this piece I created for a group show at GR gallery in December. Because I kept changing things in this piece and feel that it really worked out in the end, as well as It was one of the only piece I incorporated into the body element of both arm and leg of the subject matter and would like to explore more of this combination.
Q: What do you think about the current state of the art world?
A: Personally feel it’s going at a super fast speed, with digital platforms allowing audiences all over the world to view works instantly or contact the artist/gallery directly. Where before it was mostly just art magazines that you had to wait weeks or months for to see what’s new.
There is definitely a bigger art audience today and growing support from collectors, galleries, art platforms that really help shape up artist’s early career tremendously just because of the internet that allows all parties to connect and communicate.
Q: What role does the artist have in society?
A: Showing their ways of communication
Q: What artists have caught your attention in the last five years?
A: Antwan Horfee, Alex Da Corte, Tide, Austin Lee
Q: What’s next for you as an artist?
A: Exploring more sculpture ideas this year and creating a new series of paintings. Upcoming solo show in Hong Kong, and preparing works for group showing in London, Tokyo, France. As well as several releases.