Japanese artist Teppei Kaneuji presents a series entitled Teenage Fan Club. Known for his found-object assemblages, the artist uses plastic toys, scissors, helmets, and in this case, removable hair, gluing them together in bizarrely fascinating and colorful arrangements. These works of art stimulate the viewer with a cross between pleasant childhood memories of being engrossed with a particular game and complex amalgamated images with evocative intellectual associations. Read below for our full interview…
Among your other work, you create ‘found art’ sculpture. I suspect you tend to see artistic value in objects that many people take for granted or even discard. Do you think sculptors who create using found objects see the world in a unique way?
Teppei: We look at the real world while thinking of a different way, and the possibility the situation [can] change suddenly.
Could you explain a bit about the creative process behind Teenage Fan Club and how you create the color arrangements for your pieces?
Teppei: The combination of color will appear naturally by collecting figures of all kinds.
You’ve also been known to pour white resin over your sculptures, creating empty whited-out spaces. What kind of effects does this method bring to your art?
Teppei: By stacking meaningless phenomenons onto the meaning.
Has your art evolved from a more mature perspective now that you are in your mid 30s versus your mid 20s?
Teppei: There a change, but I do not think that’s necessarily more mature. I do the things that can only be done in that time.
You graduated from the oldest university of art in Japan. Do you attribute much of your success today to what you learned in the classroom 10 years ago?
Teppei: I was greatly influenced from free field accustomed to far from the center of the art scene. I had great teachers.
Why is it so important to you to use found and reclaimed objects in your work?
Teppei: You can cut out a portion of the cycle of different worlds, it makes sense, such as connecting.
Where do you look for materials? Do you search for specific objects or is the process more random?
Teppei: I will look at random. Things that apply to the conditions of work for each. I have kept in mind also a variety of as much as possible. To convenience store shopping, from flea market to the internet.
What are some of your favorite Anime films?
Teppei: I do not see much anime, but a long time ago, I was watching Yatsura, and Gegege no Kitaro.
Your exhibition ‘Towering Something’ you have created sculptures that explore a separation of purpose and form. Your experiences of just seeing a Mercedes Benz and a pile of dog excrement blanketed in snow can lead to endless possibilities. How did the outcome of using hula hoops, shopping carts, and plastic dinosaurs come about?
Teppei: I think by trying to connect the space, time, context and distant objects by meaningless rules and events.
After that exhibit, do you have anything planned for the winter?
Teppei: We are pleased to announce a new series — to cut up a poster of the lenticular, off-the-shelf, in Roppongi Crossing at the Mori Art Museum in the fall. [Also] a group exhibition in Russia, [followed by a] solo exhibition in Beijing. I will travel to Shanghai in winter.