Back in 2006, when filmmaker Sebastian Heindorff visited Tokyo for the first time, his crush for the city was so big that without any doubt he took on Japanese studies and learned the language.He fell for the country’s way of creating art, fashion design and food - also, the respect for craftsmanship, both traditional and modern. With big interest, he has been observing the development of Japanese designers such as Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake or Chitose Abe and how they’ve been influencing fashion design all over the world out of Tokyo. For his Bachelor thesis, he analyzed the perception of Nobuyoshi Araki`s work in the western world. During his studies, he spent one year living on the outskirts of Tokyo. Later on, he would come back to Japan every now and then to research for his master thesis that centred around post-Fukushima art and politicization of Japanese contemporary art after the tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster. His soft spot for Japanese contemporary art had him keep track of interesting young artists that he helped showcasing their art by giving them a platform through his work. In early 2020, Sebastian went back to Japan and produced three new artist’s portraits featuring Takuma Nakata from Kyoto and Colliu Pero and Ayaka Fukano from Tokyo. Three very distinctive artists that each have a very unique approach to creating art – from super analogue to super digital tools.
Sebastian met Ayaka Fukano through a common friend. After high school she became an office worker for various companies, before entering a design company where she realized that she wanted to be an artist. When her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia, her drawings were her way of expressing love and affection. Until this day the colorful characters she creates tell small stories of human interaction and love.
When Ayaka creates art, the only tools she uses are pens, acrylics and paper. By focusing on the topic of love she hopes to spread it throughout her audience. Her style perfectly reflects the simple playfulness that is so special to Japanese art and design. And you can’t help but immediately cheer up, when looking at it.
Her great source of inspiration is the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. It gives her energy because it brings nature into the concrete jungle. And this positive energy and love she puts back into her drawings – visibly.
Unlike most artists that draw inspiration from everyday objects, Colliu Pero actively searches for objects that inspire her. Colliu graduated from Musashino Art University where she started off all analogue with oil paintings. Now, most artworks she creates, start as a digital sketch, 2D or 3D, but most of them eventually end up as a physical object or statue.
One might think that Colliu is a digital artist, but she describes creating artworks as a non-digital process. Interestingly, digital tools help her find a way to make physical pieces more tangible.
Collius work is about spatial experiences that – ideally – share a feeling of happiness and positivity with the people who interact with it. Most of her artworks are objects that, on the first glance, look like they belong into another world, a digital and pastel-colored world that is defined by clear geometrical forms.
Takuma Nakata is a digital artist and interaction designer who grew up and studied in various parts of the world. When looking at his work, one can see how his backgrounds in visual design, interaction design and media philosophy come together in a very harmonious way. His creative goal is to apply digital aspects to physical spaces and by developing his own hardware and software, he gives people the opportunity to interact with his work in real time in public spaces. Projectors, lights, LCDs, even Artificial Intelligence – there’s nothing digital he is not using to do that.
For him, communication through visuals makes languages and alphabets obsolete. He is driven by exploring how people interact with his work and thus opening up a new way of communicating.
Takuma eventually settled in Kyoto because he feels very connected to nature and most of all the ability of the Japanese to convert real life into something abstract – which is exactly what he is doing. Of course, with the aim to bring it back to life afterwards.
About Sebastian Heindorff: Growing up in Berlin, Sebastian Heindorff lives and works in Frankfurt/Main, Germany now. He studied Japanese studies and art history. After graduating, he became a fulltime filmmaker, creating moving imagery in the context of arts. Sebastian quickly developed a passion for artist’s portraits, so 2019 kicked off with two films with ceramist Michiko Shida and dancer Takako Nishi, both Japanese artists living in Germany. Later that year he started a series in Seoul for art magazine KubaParis wherein local curators, art critics and promoters illustrate contemporary art from a Korean point of view. With this project the ongoing series called “The Appointment” was born.
Production Assistant: Martha Richter
Local Assistant: Mariko Morioka
Original Score: Chris Beisswenger
Sound Effects: Chris Beisswenger
Graphic Design: Daniel Weberruss
Subtitles: Itsue Yanagida
Text: Jelena Pecic
Published on Sabukaru.online