「Oh we’re so pretty. Oh so pretty we’re vacant」
Konomad, the publishing team of wigmaker Tomi Kono and photographer Sayaka Maruyama, were inspired by these Sex Pistol lyrics for their newest pop up in Tokyo.
“Pretty Vacant” refers to our collective emotional state, as the coronavirus has shaken artists around the globe and caused them not only to be forced to sit still, but also to question purpose, journey and medium, among other things.
After spending a lot of time on Instagram during lockdown, Tomi and Sayaka compiled a list of unique and up-and-coming artists to invite into their new studio in Tokyo. These artists will exhibit, collaborate, and offer their work for one week in October (scroll down to see the details).
Here, FAR–NEAR asks the artists a few questions about their process.
FAR–NEAR What part of yourself do you put in your work?
Tomi Kono A lot of different parts of myself. When you look at my book PERSONAS 111, you might think my style is pop and colorful, but I also have dark aesthetics.
Sayaka Maruyama Individuality. Some part of me that’s indescribable with words.
Chihiro Gompei My thoughts, emotions, energy and poetry…or just everything!
Laura Chautin I put my Pisces self into my work, the dreamy part of myself, the self that isn’t afraid to get a little colorful and dig into my playful, extra sensitive side!
Upa Time, experience, life.
Hana Yagi My roots.
FAR–NEAR What do you think about when you work? What do you listen to?
Tomi Kono I listen to YouTube while making wigs: Japanese comedy, historical documentaries, music, etc. I like listening to Jazz. Bill Evans in the morning.
Sayaka Maruyama Almost unconsciously but I tend to think about the balance: Size, colors and composition, etc. Recently I’m listening to Rosalia, Tokischca, Sevdaliza, Os Tincoas (Deixa A Gira Girar)
Chihiro Gompei I don’t really think anything while I work with my hands. Although historical research is crucial to my practice, I have to leave all knowledge behind to make things. Making is like having an intuitive dialogue with materials, colours, volumes and textures, so to the second question, I listen to materials that speak languages I never fully understand. But more practically, I listen to Nina Simone, Erykah Badu, Missy Elliot and Gacharic Spin these days.
Laura Chautin When I work on my paintings I am usually off in another world. I think about places that I’d like to go or places from my past that I’d like to revisit. A lot of my landscapes are pulled from memories of England.
When I’m in the act of making ceramics I am quite focused on the process- which is coiling the clay into a form. It’s meditative because I have to be incredibly present with my mind and hands.
When I’m at home working I’ll have the radio on or I’m listening to a playlist Masami has made (mostly old school J pop.) At the ceramic studio I’m not listening to anything, it’s quite chatty and collaborative there so I’m talking to friends.
Upa I don’t think about anything when I work, just follow the thoughts. Usually I really need to be quiet, sometimes I do listen to podcast and music, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is my favorite album recently.
Fri 8 October -Tue 12 October
Last day until-18:00