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Artist Spotlight - Kaori Takase

By Angelyn Labadan

1. First, give us a short introduction!

Hi, my name is Kaori Takase. I'm half Colombian half Japanese. I was born and raised in Colombia but decided to move to Japan when I was 20, so I lived in Tokyo for around 4 years. Now I'm back living in Colombia. I studied design first and then transfer to the art major a TUJ.

2. Describe briefly the work that you do.

I would say I can not define myself as an artist focused on just one medium of art, like photography, sculpture, etc... I LOVE is the creative process. So throughout my whole career, I've experimented with different materials, mediums, and styles.

However, I would say my favorite "mediums" are digital art photography, fashion design, and oil painting.

And right now, my work is content creation for digital platforms and photography.

3. How did you get introduced to your craft?

Since I was little I had different classes of art at school but also extracurricular classes on weekends and I loved it! Later, when I was like 12 I started to have the desire to become a fashion designer, I just loved reading fashion magazines, drawing designs, and watching fashion runway shows. And lastly, when I was in high school I started to take a lot of pictures with my dad's camera since then I've never stopped taking pictures.

4. What themes do you pursue?

I love to do works that analyze my inner self. Understanding my behavior, my biculturalism, and my beliefs.

5. How do you work/what is your process like?

I would say that before I start a project, I always like to have a clear concept first. I need an idea, a message to deliver before I start with the "craft".

6. Do you have any long-standing influences?

If it's in the fashion world, I was just so attracted to the "Harajuku fashion style" which was so different from what you would see on western trends when I was a teenager. And talking about artists, I would say Frida Kahlo has been a big influence for me.

7. How do you want your work to affect your audience?

I think being an artist is not to create "beautiful" things as many people may think. For me, the most important part is the concept and the message that my artwork has. So in a way or another, I want people to be touched by what I create or to read a message to think about society and life.

8. Can you describe your idea of artistic success?

Being successful looks different for everyone, but for me would be being able to work full time in what I love to do as an independent artist, and to have people that love my work and support it. Of course, making money from it and being stable is important haha but more than just doing stuff for money, I think enjoying the process, and having a public that is affected or touched by your message will be very rewarding.

9. What are your plans for the future?

I want to work full-time independently, have art exhibitions, sell my work. And also, I want to have my own fashion brand. Maybe, doing a Master's degree in Art and teaching at universities can be cool too haha

10. Let’s talk about one of your most recent and favorite projects!

Well, is not recent but is one of my favorites, is the: "Peace in the Storm" (2018) Oil painting on canvas.

The painting is about keeping balance in life. The surroundings represent good and bad things that happen in my life; things that can distract me or that sometimes can stress me because of overthinking. But what I wanted to represent with myself in the middle is like a meditative state where I can find peace in the middle of all of that. Also, the colors pink and yellow represent distraction but the light blue in the middle is a peaceful state. The blue and red in my face are like water and fire because thanks to the good and bad seasons that we face we can grow and learn more about life.

No matter which season of life we are in, in the middle of the trial and difficulties, we can make an effort to just breathe and stay calm. I believe everything in my life works for good (even the bad moments) so I should learn to stay peaceful and grateful every day.

I came up with this idea because of my experiences fighting anxiety and depression. Sometimes, when you are in that dark hole you think there is no escape, but the reality is that we need to look up and not let the bad thoughts win inside our mind.

I know being stressed is normal for so many people in nowadays society, but I wanted to share that in the middle of all, we can find peace, balance, and gratefulness. I love it because is a daily battle for me and is a good reminder too. Also, many people have told me this painting has an important message for them too. Some of them had tried to buy it, but this one is so special to me that I still don't want to sell it haha.

Be sure to check out more of Kaori's work via Instagram!


Thank you Kaori for taking the time to talk with us!

Artist Spotlight is a series hoping to promote local creatives from TUJ and beyond. We aim to cover a diverse range of artist from variety of fields, so please follow us to find out about aspiring artists and more!

Contact us to if you want your work to be featured or know an artist who’s a good fit to our mission and you think deserves more attention!

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