Kennedy Shioya - Artist Statement
As an artist I’ve always been inspired by how humans exist and how we, as individuals, see the different ways others live. My work is primarily the visual representation of how I manage my life throughout my 20’s. Whether it be in real time or the process of how I work, I want the viewer to feel like they are seeing a part of my life you wouldn’t see at first glance.
My two paintings titer between self portraiture and narrative scenes in a way where I am showing myself through my personal items rather than my figure itself. The idea for these pieces are to give a sense of documentation of what a casual night out with my closest friends looks like. Conveying the mundane actions like going to a bar or playing pool is what truly makes life as pure as it gets. I want the viewer to be able to think about how they, themselves, would be looked at by others going about their everyday life. This is really important for my work because my main goal is for the audience to feel a connection between these specific scenarios. Not for the viewer to remember an experience at a bar specifically, but for them to reminisce on the different people and personalities they’ve been acquainted with throughout their life. Showing my friends and I in such public but also intimate situations is giving them an inside look of my own experiences with the people in my life. Especially during this time of isolation, reflecting on life's little joys of chatting outside with friends or playing pool is something we don’t look back on until it's gone.
My other two pieces I've created are conveying the process of how I work. Specifically how I paint. Starting with a sporadic and wild underpainting to then layer that with a more structured neutral end result. These two pieces are made from household items to make the connection of being from my own life and experiences. I wanted to take a more abstract approach to give a sense of when I work considering I make decisions that might not work entirely at first, but then end up complimenting the piece in the end.