Mr. Toyoda, it has been a while.
I am sure you all know who is here, but could you please introduce yourself to everyone who is watching the insta-live?
My name is Kotai Toyoda. I am a painter. I draw pictures of starry skies. Osaka is my hometown, so I started this traveling exhibition “STAR CHILDREN” at Chignitta.
Painter, Kodai Toyoda. That’s nice. Could you tell us the short history of how you decided to become a “painter” in the first place?
Toyoda: I liked to draw pictures since I was a child, but I didn’t really want to be a painter or anything.When I was 15 years old, I had an experience in which Taro Okamoto came to me in a dream and kept saying the power word “revolt” to me. I thought, “Oh, I see. Then I suddenly felt the urge to create something other than Pokémon, or to draw a work of art.
Isn’t it amazing to hear in a dream a word you don’t know, “rebel”? Taro Okamoto, it’s like you really came down.
TOYODA: Yes, I remembered it so vividly.
You must have had a revelation from Taro Okamoto.
Toyoda: I hope so.
Did you know that Taro Okamoto existed?
Toyoda: I knew about the Tower of the Sun because I grew up in Osaka, and until then I had only had a scary image of the Tower of the Sun from photographs, but after seeing it in a dream, my perception of it changed dramatically, and I began to understand it as a sensation, or perhaps it just felt right to me. I was painting, but as I absorbed music, movies, and various other things, I ended up with what I am painting now. Looking back, the theme of starry skies was in my painting from the beginning.
When I saw a painting by (Jackson) Pollock, I tried to see if I could use it as an homage to express my own painting, and it turned out to be a great fit. I love lip-slime, and I wondered if I could use it as a sampling technique for my paintings, so I tried Pollock’s method, and it worked.
Kodai-san, there was a moment when you decided to become a painter as a professional occupation.
Toyoda: After graduating from high school, I took the entrance exam to Kyoto Seika University to study Japanese painting, but I failed with flying colors. Laughs.
But I did not have the option of applying to other schools or becoming a ronin, so I just wanted to live and die painting. At that time, I was offered a chance to exhibit at “digmeout ART & DINER,” and the experience of actually having customers look at and buy my paintings made me realize that I wanted to make this my career.