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Never stop thinking 

Kanako Sasaki / 2023

The second interview in two years.Running at full speed for the past two years, Kanako Sasaki has been creating many new works, and has been involved in an increasing number of art-related events and collaborations featuring the images of her works. We interviewed her about her current situation and future plans.

------Thank you for the interview today. It has been two years since our last interview.

The previous interview was at the time of your solo exhibition at the Daimaru Shinsaibashi.

In the last two years, you must have had a really tight schedule for producing art works.

So, without further ado, please tell us about the new insights and changes in consciousness that you have experienced during these two hectic years, and the resulting transformation of your work, as well as your future outlook.

You had especially short period of time between your solo exhibition "Existence" at AD Gallery in Roppongi Hills last year and your solo exhibition "birth" in Sendai. How did you feel about this tight schedule to create so many works in such a short period of time?

My solo exhibition "Existence" at AD Gallery in April was like a dream come true for me. It was one of my goals to hold a solo exhibition in Tokyo and to have people in Tokyo see my work, so naturally I was fired up to realize it.

I was very much excited about the exhibition in Tokyo, but in addition to this, I was also offered to have a solo exhibition "birth" in my hometown, Sendai, in June, which I definitely wanted to do someday. Furthermore, I was also working to do live painting for a visual design project as well as a collaboration with a fashion brand, all of which coincided with the exhibition in Tokyo.

It was a very valuable experience, and now I am conscious that I would not be where I am today without that time, but back then, I recall I had to face many obstacles that were incredibly high, which was a strain and an ordeal every day.

I was really full of enthusiasm! But in my mind, I was always thinking about a work and fighting with anxiety, so I was kind of on the edge every day.

Last year, every single day was like that from the day solo exhibition was planned until the day exhibition finished.

------Those days must have been tough. What was it that supported you in those days?

As is always the case, my solo exhibition in Sendai, in particular, was made possible by the support of the people around me. Without their support, I would not have made it. It was months in which I felt the warmth of the people around me and my gratitude towards them. 

For works, “Just paint!” was my attitude.

Large number of works were needed and... I simply could not think, but just paint.

At the same time, there was always a sense of anxiety that I might not be able to finish the painting.

I was always dispelling these anxious thoughts with hope for the future.

I controlled myself and maintained the motivation by cheering up myself imagining “I want people to feel this way with my work”, “How things will turn out once my works are presented at the exhibition” and such.

------You are always thinking positively toward the future, imagining wonderful results for your works.

Indeed so! I have overcome those schedules always thinking “I wish this kind of people to see my work” and “My works are finally to be seen!”.

Looking back now, it was a very intense time that I could hardly believe myself to have painted so may works in such short time! But then, it is thanks to my brain that thought and my heart that beaten at that time that I can work as I do today.

I am grateful for that time, and I believe through that experience, I have finally reached the start line of my artist life.

It was truly an exciting time and experience.

-----I am sure that your experience at that time has definitely been a source of inspiration for you.

You did seem to have had a really tight schedule of creating works and working on cases one after another.


Yes, I was so busy that I seem to have lost memories a little bit.

------You were in extreme concentration.

Yes, I do not like vagueness and I did not want what I paint, my artwork, to be vague. It is meaningless for me to paint if my own expression does not exist in my work, so I was extra careful on that point. However, I have only one body, and my time is limited to 24 hours a day, so I had to be sure of what I do.

There wass also the issue of space. As my atelier is not a very spacious place, I had to consider the working space, scheduling to work efficiently, and also of course, stay healthy...

Anyway, I was very nervous in all directions.

If you ask me if I can do the same thing now, I do not think I can anymore.

But if I do, I want to go above and beyond what I have done in the past. I’m always conscious that I want to challenge myself to do something that goes beyond what I have done in the past, and when I want to advance, it does not matter how little time I have.。

------You have the assumption to keep yourself updated.

Yes, perhaps it is that consciousness of wanting to surpass the past that allows me to work in such a positive manner.

The solo exhibition in Sendai, which I absolutely wanted to do, and the timing of the exhibition could not have been held without the venue being scheduled at that time.

I felt like everything fell into place at the absolutely right time.

Everything came to me at once, as if something was telling me, "You can't do it without this timing!” and so I was able to complete everything.

And since I could not have done it by myself, I am grateful for the help and support of everyone around me.


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