Kanaria’s portfolio reads like a fairytale.
Innocent human figures twirl around, harmoniously communing with an exotic fauna and flora of plants and animals. Delicate creatures jump out of the canvas, having been transformed into hand-painted ceramic figurines… flower buds in blossom, raindrops, penis mushrooms, floating deers and honeycombs, it's undeniable… Whether fairy or artist, Kanaria provokes a feet-sweeping, mind-boggling reaction of childlike enchantment. Leaving her viewer with an unshakeable desire to jump into her world of love and romantic chaos. Thankfully, the artist’s interdisciplinary practice enables us to do so. Going from three dimensional ceramic teddy bears and squirrels to novel-like oils, and hand-painted animations… Kanaria doesn’t just create works, she creates worlds.
In 1987, the artist was born in Osaka, a vibrant city in the Kansai region of Honshu, Japan, which she describes as slightly more ‘barbaric’ and ‘warm’ than Tokyo. The influence of Japanese culture on Kanaria’s practice appears in numerous different ways. Her pastel oil depiction of an ethereal nature with thin brushstrokes reminds us of a meditative Japan, continuing the native tradition of using meticulous crafts (like calligraphy or ikebana) to honor the world around. On another level, the dispersed arrangement of the elements which form her oil paintings, where deers emerge from a woman’s nipples in a field of rainbows and flying honeypots echo the city’s consumerist & digital chaos.
Beyond Japan itself, Kanaria draws inspiration from innumerable other nations and traditions, in an effort (as she insinuated in our conversation) to find and return to the essence of Humankind. Amongst the lot- as for content- we can perceive the influence of theatrical Greek mythology, where characters are depicted in the midst of a significant symbolical moment. As for form- her dainty brushstroke and use of soft tones reminds us of European impressionist and pointillist painters. Following our conversation, Kanaria disclosed her love for the French movement of Art Brut, or ‘raw art’- a movement invented by French artist Jean Dubuffet which sought to return the artistic practice to a raw expression of emotions and visions. Kanaria's admiration for surrealist painters Anette Messager, Kiki Smith or Pipilotti List is also noteworthy. Whilst such references may have not instinctively appeared in my mind upon the sight of her work, the artist's expression of them certainly helped me understand her approach to creation.
It’s in this rich cultural context of multicultural, multi temporal sources that Kanaria installs her very own, very unique style. In the first instants of our conversation, I was moved by her sincerity, humility and simplicity. Her childlike voice and infectious laugh walked me through the deeply reflective underpinnings of her otherworldly creations. The ultimate message being; « The Whole World is one ».
The artist shared that, by writing her dreams, she’s able to experiment creation in her dream world. Luckily for us spectators- upon awake, Kanaria uses her delicate hands to make this dreamworld of flesh. Essentially, Kanaria seeks to celebrate joy, love, sensuality, fun, harmony and peace. What’s the result? A use of art to promote the artist’s favorite source of inspiration, the absolute source of life: Love.
For that I must say, Thank you Kanaria for your Love Wonder World.