Kevin R.Kao-Sculpture-Ceramics & Stuff.
Wow what to say about Kevins work? Its certainly very different…..His combination’s of sculpture, ceramics & ‘stuff’ as he likes to call it, are incredible. Creating these beast like sculptures that should scare me. The thing is they do the opposite. I think i’m confused! I got in touch with Kevin and arranged a chat about his creations, him self, his background an ting….
Hi Kevin, Your work is like nothing I’ve seen before Kevin, Its beautiful and there’s something incredibly calming about it for me, (this may be because of the Moroccan chill out music im listening to) But the expressions from your characters…there’s something very content and humble about them….Can you introduce us to yourself as an artist and tell us a little bit about your background?
Absolutely! I would consider myself an emerging artist finding roots in San Diego, California. Most of my work is concerned with revealing a delicate balance of opposing forces: figure and function, pain and comfort, reality and unnatural, beast and human. I hope to invoke a sense of disjointed contentedness through these hybrid objects – allowing people to accept, find comfort and be alright with the idea of ambiguity and uncertainty, which in my opinion, is a necessary trait to survive in our tumultuous society. I actually come from a science background – studying Ecology, Animal Behavior and Evolution at the University of California – San Diego. I suppose that’s why I have such a strong inclination to hybridized beastial forms – much like an attempt to genetically modify, fabricate and evolve creatures, discovering new species. I decided late in my college career that I had declared the wrong emphasis and immediately after graduation, started focusing on creating art. I’m currently in the middle of applying for graduate schools, so hopefully I’ll get in!
Woah a pretty sharp transition then! One particular piece of your work that I was really caught by, is your ‘Recyclidae albumopsis’ can you tell us about the piece and your thoughts and ideas behind it?
The starting point of ‘Recyclidae albumopsis’ revolved around an earlier idea I had with using the paper from phone books, which plays with the idea of re-purposing and creating something magnificent from a seemingly lowly disregarded material. I started off making these conical tree-like forms, but it eventually evolved into something more… ominous, but friendly! The use of a child’s face kinda plays down the seriousness of excess and trash in our culture, while referencing the eeriness from Japanese folklore – which I’m currently obsessed with. It’s important for me to allow the viewer to see over-use of paper waste and transform it into something whimsical, fantastic and delightful.
Where do your ideas come from? Your works all appear to have a lot of thought and meaning behind them,Can you talk us through your way of working from initial idea to final creations?
The more work that I make, the more I’m realizing that I’m trying to justify the thought, “Everything will be okay.” I’m finding reassurance in the present by reaching to the past, whether that’s through stories I grew up with, items that I associate with youth or the seemingly innocent nature of animals. I’m inspired by folklore, evolution, children’s books and the push-pull aesthetic. I usually start off with a jumping point of creating a specific idea – usually a sketch of a creature, being, etc. Working in clay has its pros and cons in that it’s extremely flexible, but requires a lot of patience and good technique. One false step, and the piece will crack or explode in the firing process, so it’s important to not become too attached to an idea. For me, its a system of problem solving, and coming to an final end point in which an original idea has evolved through the process – sometimes it’s in line with the original idea, others, it evolves into something much more in-depth than what I anticipated.