We had the good fortune of connecting with Ibuki Kuramochi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ibuki, what principle do you value most?
The body. As AI and technology evolve in the future, they will forever be just a copy of our organic perfect body. Now that the pandemic is happening and the internet is everything, we need to think again about the body. Robots can be charged even they get old, but our bodies are weakened and our lives are limited. That is why we need to be concerned about the body. I read a book by Anatomy expert Takeshi Yoro. He stayed that the cells of humans change every day. I’m not the same as I was a week ago. In old Japan, people’s names were changed according to their age and career advancement (stage of life). We who live in this era have consistently had the same name (except in the case of marriage) So, just by not realizing it, I am completely different from myself 10 years ago and myself living now. I want to cherish the current sense of the body, and at the same time, I look forward to the development of technology. I would like to continue to work on a daily basis while confirming and culturing physicality. My daily art production includes the study of my body. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I create art works in various forms such as paintings, digital works, video works, performances, etc. Based on the body, I create art works while mixing the disciplines such as philosophy and anatomy as inspiration. Also, since I started the dance called Butoh, I became very interested in the body. Butoh is an avant-garde dance form born in Japan in the 1950’s created by Tatsumi Hijikata and Kazuo Ohno. Before I leaned Butoh, I was doing live painting as a performance. Usually when people do live painting, their back is turned to the audience so it tends to be visually monotonous. Little by little I began to incorporate more elements of beauty and movement into my work. When I was introduced to a Butoh class, I was taught performing by using your back. Butoh’s poetic and pictorial movement, in which words such as anger and trembling of the soul apply, is a movement different from ordinary dance, and the body and mind are remarkably expressed. Mr.Yoshito OHNO is the son of Butoh founder Kazuo Ohno. Like his father, Yoshito Ohno is also a famous and a remarkable Butoh dancer. When I had the pleasure to meet Yoshito Ohno at his dance studio in Yokohama and to study under him, I was overwhelmed by his quiet but intelligent aura. Since my study of Butoh, I started to perform with a combination of Butoh and live painting. Painting and Butoh are very connected , and I think that constructing a dance and the composition of a painting are very connected. Unfortunately, Mr, Yoshito Ohno passed away on January 8, 2020. However I will be forever grateful to him, and when I perform, I always express my teacher’s words from my heart. When I wondered, what makes up the body, I realized it is made up of brain, cells, bones, blood, muscles, etc. I tried to incorporate all of these elements in my art work while improvising body movements. Also, since 2020 it has been difficult to have personal contacts, and that is reflected in my work. When our consciousness is condensed into the online world, we feel as if we have forgotten our body. While traveling in the digital world, I create works with the theme of confronting my own body and physicality.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
What I like about LA is that it is full of both the power of big cities and the energy of nature. I was born in the countryside of Gunma, Japan, abundant of nature, and then spent 10 years in the big city of Tokyo. LA is very attractive because it has both elements in addition to the good weather. Downtown LA has a lot of cool art galleries and events so it is one of my favorite areas. I would like to take my friend to the Downtown Art walk. I have a lot of art friends, so I definitely want to introduce their exhibitions and events. Also for shopping, I would take my friend to Melrose Avenue, where lots of fascinating second-hand clothing and high fashion can be found. Also, take a walk in Griffith Park and enjoy jogging together. I would like to coordinate a journey full of art and natural energy!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I love the LA art community. It’s been about two years since I moved to LA from Japan, and I’ve met many great artist friends, curators, gallerists, and art critics. People in the LA art community work together to create the coolest art scene. I am proud to be an artist in the diverse LA community. Currently, due to the influence of Corona, public events and opening parties are not possible, but even in such a harsh situation, artists are presenting their works through online and outdoor exhibitions, so they stay connected to art. Art is my passion for life and production is my mission. Over the last two years, I have received various support from many people. I would like to continue contributing to this LA art scene as I develop as an artist.

Website: https://www.ibuki-kuramochi.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ibuki_kuramochi/

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