Since 2000, Maiko Kobayashi has drawn and painted repetitively an un-named character, alone or in group. This hybrid creature, an animal expressing human feelings, seems to belong to the Japanese Kawaï (cute) trend. But Kobayashi uses this popular pictural vocabulary to gain from the public an easy access to the deep emotions which lie under an apparent simplicity.
Kobayashi says : “Human beings are endlessly interesting. Human emotion always fascinates me. Through my invented form I am exploring the possibilities of existence.” It is therefore a kind of existential questioning, also reflected in the artist’s choice of medium : gesso, ordinary paper or newspaper, which emphasizes the vulnerable and evanescent nature of her characters. As Kobayashi explains, there is a relationship between the quality of her creatures and the characteristics of materials expressing innocence, fragility, isolation, vulnerability and so on.
Facing these silent creatures and their empty sad eyes, the viewer tries to understand their emotions. But Maiko Kobayashi’s characters raise more questions than they answer. They rather demand of us to simply feel their presence as we are encouraged towards meditation and empathy.
Born in Japan in 1977, Maiko Kobayashi lives and works in Tokyo.
She received her MA in Fine Arts from the University of Northumbria (Newcastle, England) in 2008 with the highest honors.
Japanese artist born in 1977 in Kanagawa, Japan.
- Tokyo, Japan