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Interview with artist Taketo Kobayashi

Taketo Kobayashi (also known as ‘Humanoise') graduated from Tokyo’s Keio University. After gaining experience in 3D graphics and animation at the Tokyo Institute of Technology’s creative laboratory, and Gonzo Co., Ltd., Taketo branched out and began his career as an artist in his own right.

Now a specialist in 3DCG modelling with a focus on 3D printing and additive manufacturing, humanoise explores the boundaries of digital printing. His mission is to turn the invisible - emotions, energy, consciousness - into the visible. Experimenting with the concept of spirituality in a digital age, Taketo considers Japanese subculture design a descendant of the animism spirit which formed during the ancient Jōmon period.

This “digital shaman’s” designs are deconstructed and reconstructed in abstract ways. By blending the ancient and the modern through “shapes” he creates a circle - a mandala-like expression of Japanese culture.

"Digital art is total freedom.” - Humanoise

Read on to learn more…

Digital Shaman – Humanoise 

What inspires you to turn the invisible - emotions, energy, consciousness into visible form?

I see this world as layers of information forming complexity with fractal patterns. "God is in the details". We can find beautiful designs in just one leaf of a tree, but we don't pay attention in our everyday life. Listening and dancing to music and surfing in the ocean made me realise the beauty in nature and the energy floating through it. 

Also, Jomon doki (pottery from the Jomon period of Japan) is a big inspiration to me. The more I learn about our Jōmon civilisation, the more I feel we have something to learn. It's considered a very peaceful period in our history. There's no evidence of war, and people appeared to live in harmony with nature. They treated everything as if it had a spirit inside. I wanted to bring this idea back from the past. I can't go back in time, but with technology, I can bring things into the future. I discovered that the Jōmon people produced very elaborate pottery, so I've created models of their work and adapted it with my artwork to create modern sculptures that can then be printed in 3D. It's not possible to share or modify ancient artefacts, but using 3D printing, I can share new messages with people. 

Technology can be harnessed to create a vision of humanity that goes beyond our lifespan. That's my goal. Maybe it's not something I can achieve in my lifetime, but I can pass it on.

“Eros-Thanatos” by Taketo Kobayashi

Arty-Fact: This artwork is a 3D scanned image of Jōmon doki (pottery) from Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi-ken, Japan. This doki depicts a mother giving birth.

“I combined the image of ‘life’ with the image of ‘death’, which I believe is just another state of energy. Every material eventually will breakdown, deform, dissolve, but the energy formed from that material will not be lost; it will just transform into something else. The people of Jōmon are said to have these kinds of circular life-death beliefs. I'm recreating their faith with modern technology and art.” ~ Humanoise

What do you specialise in?

I specialise in 3D modelling/design, and materialising it with 3D printing. As mentioned, I have a significant interest in the Japanese Jomon period and other tribal/archaic cultures. I grew up watching Japanese subculture, anime, manga, and I think they are not only a pop/subculture, but also the contemporary expression of animistic feeling. Mixing these elements and materialising it is my speciality.

“The NamelessOne” - A symbol of spirituality in the digital era.

Full-colour 3D resin printing
Edition: Limited to 5
Year: 2020
Size: 11.8cm (H) x 10.0cm (W) x 3.5cm (D)

Arty-Fact: The ‘NamelessOnes’ series was created when Humanoise produced artwork for the ‘Digital G-O-D’ exhibit. “We needed something to symbolise our spirituality using art and technology.” The spirit of that “something” was turned into reality via a 3D printer. “Humans are a vessel of higher energy. We give visibility to that energy with our knowledge and experience, and by using traditional tools like a paintbrush or a digital tool like computer graphics software and 3D printing. That is art.”

Humanoise’s characters are steeped in contemporary Japanese subculture like manga and anime. The characters stem from an animistic belief / feeling rooted in ancient Japanese Jōmon culture. Animism is the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence.

“We all had an animistic feeling in ancient times. The idea everything in nature has energy or spirit inside can be found anywhere in the world. I’m not just talking about Japanese culture. It’s under the hidden layer of all humanity.” Humanoise believes that’s the reason why Japanese characters, irrational and kawaii, are widely accepted in the world.

How did you begin your career as an artist? When or where did your exploration and experimentation come from? 

I started my career at Gonzo, Japan. At that time, I was a designer creating robots and characters for anime. 

The nuclear disaster at Fukushima changed my life. For a long time, I couldn't work efficiently. There were power outages all the time, and I couldn't get stuff done. I found myself hanging out at bars in the city, having a beer, chatting to people, and I became part of a different community. I started to question things. Technology was blamed for the disaster. However, the Japanese Government continues to embrace nuclear power plants without a foolproof plan to deal with radiation leaks. Is this because there is a shortage of electricity? Or simply for the vested interest of the economic system?

Technology can be used for destruction, but it can also be used for creation. I wanted to show people that. I decided to use the skill set that I had honed to create anime to create art. Changing our societal and economic norms is not an easy thing. It has to be a bottom-up process. Engaging people through my art, and talking to them to regain respect for nature, care for their own and different cultures is a first step.

Agni” - Holy Fire. The vital spark of life.

Full-colour 3D resin printing
Edition: Limited to 5
Size: 12.2cm (H) x 6.67cm (W) x 6.67cm (D)

Why are you known as 'humanoise’?

"Humanoise" came from my random thoughts. We think that we have a consistent personality/character, but it changes from time to time depending on who we are talking to, what kind of environment we are in. Our "human personality" is like a noise generated between different frequencies ~ humanoise.

Who influences you in your art?

I am a massive fan of the visionary artist Alex Grey. He has shown me how deep the human mind can go into other dimensions. The beauty of nature moves our mind without any reasons. Alex Grey's artwork is the same as nature, overwhelmingly beautiful.

PsychBrain” - A Symbol of Higher Intellect. Use the full capacity of your brain.

Full-colour 3D resin printing
Edition: Limited to 5
Year: 2020
Size: 12.6cm (H) x 7.8cm (W) x 5.5cm (D)

Interview with artist Taketo Kobayashi Reviewed by JaamZIN on 9:03:00 AM Rating: 5
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