Takahito Irie is a multimedia artist, currently displaying his work in DegreeArt.com’s ‘Post Digital – Are we there yet?’ show at their Vyner Street Gallery in London. We have a quick chat to find out more about the Japanese born artist.
So your work is currently part of the ‘Post Digital’ exhibition at DegreeArt, tell me, what does the term ‘Post Digital’ mean to you?
In my point of view about the “Post Digital” is that we take more care of humanity following this digital experience.
Your latest series is entitled the Human Machine, when did you first become interested in the relationship between technology and man?
As many people know, the city of Hiroshima has a big history due to the Atomic Bomb and I was reminded of this every year at the peace memorial day. I didn’t think about this when I was younger, but since moving around to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing, I realise there is a relationship between the changes of a city and the people living there, and how the cities affect our lives.
The patterns you paint in your images are not only evocative of tribal patterns, but also look like machines, how would you say the two visually marry up?
I always body paint like Kabuki ( the Japanese traditional make up style), and African body paint – anytime there is a cultural concept, I try to convey our cultural backgrounds on to the body.
You use many platforms including photography, painting and video – what is it that attracts you to using all these mediums?
I’m always thinking I would like to take specific medium to explain my idea. Because our body has five senses and because we are always communicating. I believe that my challenge and mission is to make a fun way of communication and to depict expressions through the model’s poses.
Coming from Japan, do you feel the advanced technology has been an influence on the art you create?
I think so, but my creativity is always developing depending on where I am. As the city changes, so does my identity, and the possibilities.
Are there any contemporary or classic artists that have influenced you?
To be honest, I do not know from who I’ve got some influence. But I believe I’m getting lots of influence from people around me – not only from the art industry.
What made you want to be an artist?
My honest vision. Not only as artist, I would like to be a person who always explains in honest, natural communication.
I’ve read that you are influenced by Japanese Gundam Robots, have you always been influenced by Science Fiction?
Yes, I like the Sci-fi stuff. Since we always imagine future life, this kind of vision in Japanese Animation of the robots is alerting us to our future.
You can see Takahito Irie’s work at @DegreeArt in ‘Post Digital: Are We There Yet?’ until 14th August 2014, 12a Vyner Street, London E2 9DG.