Instagram: @_kimikoyamada_
Twitter: @aji_no_moyou


1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I’m a Japanese illustrator. I have a special sense, called “synesthesia”, I can see the “design of taste” in my mind when I eat. And by sketching those “designs of taste”, I create my artwork.



2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

What I want to express is the ‘beauty’ flowing in the deep heart of Japanese people which they have cultivated since a long time ago. In order to express that beauty, I think it is important to make an effort to recognize objects without excess first. And when I express it, I try to honestly draw its original appearance as it is, without adding any excessive expression. In addition, I don’t create my works apart from soundness and life. And based on these standards, I would like to play with this “粋(IKI)” as much as possible. For me, painting should be something to be decorated and to color our life first of all. And for that purpose, I would like to create something beautiful that takes us in a positive direction somewhat. “粋”, it is a positive mindset that I try to enjoy everything happening to me, including contradictions, and difficult future problems I can not resolve.


3. What is your favourite medium and why?

I prefer pen, aqueous magic pen, and poster color, in order to paint solidly. I like expressions of printed patterns on cloth and old two- or three- color poster. So I choose these tools to approach them.


4. What is your artistic process like?

First, I eat somethingt and sketch the design of its taste that I can visually see in my mind while eating. After configuring the pattern, I decide a composition of dishes, items and scenes according to the theme. While drawing the design of taste, I realized one thing: the design of taste I saw in my mind was not my emotion of eating something, but my sense of taste. In other words, what I’m drawing is not secondary things (my thoughts, emotions or evaluation) such as “tasty”,“bad taste”, or “valuable” but taste itself. In this modern age where lots of secondary information given from others is overflowing, I really like that the act of “seeing the taste” is the primary information from my own experience gained by accurately recognizing the feeling I felt.


5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

Artist/Brand: Kobori Enshu(Japanese artist), Kauniste(Finnish brand), Finn Juhl(Danish architect), Tove Jansson (Finnish author of “Moomins”), Maruyama Okyo(Japanese artist), Ito Jakuchu(Japanese ink painter), Osamu Tezuka(Japanese manga artist, I like his way of drawing line and plane),
Architecture: Katsura Imperial Villa in Kyoto, Entsu Temple in Kyoto
Scientist: Hideki Yukawa(Japanese theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize in Physics)

桂離宮 小堀遠州 カウニステ フィンユール トーベヤンソン 円山応挙 伊藤若冲(水墨画) 手塚治(線と面の描き方)、圓通寺 湯川秀樹

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art helps me to develop my character, and through that growth it makes me to be able to understand words and thoughts of people from completely different genres. By understanding them, I think I am acquiring this world (because what I can not recognize is the same as not existing). It is a great pleasure for me to keep growing and gaining new worlds that I didn’t know before. I think that I can solve mysteries of this world little by little by continuing to pursue one thing, regardless of painting or art.
Why are great arts so great? What makes amazing people amazing? Why am I drawing a picture? Who on earth are Japanese? I suppose that while working on my paintings, I am also trying to solve these mysteries.



7. Where did you study?

Joshibi College of Art and Design, Japan


8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to work with a maker dealing with food. I want to draw pictures in its total areas including packages, wrapping paper, paper bags and so on. I also want to draw a picture of cloth pattern as well as the total pattern of a yukata (Japanese traditional casual clothing).

食べ物を取り扱っているメーカーさんとお仕事をしたいです。パッケージ、包装紙、紙袋などトータルで絵を描きたいです。布のパターンの絵を描きたい。 浴衣のトータルの柄の模様を描きたいです。

9. What about in ten?

I would like to collaborate with some specialty brands of tableware, curtain, sofa cover etc, and coordinate the whole living space.


10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

In Japan, there is a high threshold between art and those who are not related to art. So I want them to incorporate art more in their daily lives. And I would like to make such environment through my paintings that can make it easier for a lot of people to touch arts more freely in their lives.



11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Things that were carefully made or created. Foods that match TPO. Foods that I eat for the first time.


12. Favourite book?

Moomins, Ryotaro Shiba (Japanese writer), books on Japanese culture, essay of Hideki Yukawa(Japanese scientist), philosophy books


13. Favourite genre of music?

Ringo Sheena, Kurikorder Quartet


14. What are your hobbies?

traveling, comedian’s radio, watching sports


15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

Food Coordinator


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