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Akiko

I am looking to combine my traditional Japanese techniques with modern materials in an innovative way…

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Akiko Kondo, painter, mother and wife, living in Italy for 20 years. She creates modern works of art with a sense of the ancient Orient using traditional Japanese techniques.

What is your style?
– What I happen to put together…

What is your inspiration?
– Very often Italian and French art along with traditional Japanese. I studied both, French painting from 1700 to 1800, and the Italian Renaissance.  From there I develop a figurative style that is abstract.

When did you start painting?
– When I was 15.

When do you usually work?
– When my son is at school or when he is sleeping… it’s hard, almost impossible …

If you could be any artist who would you be?
– It’s difficult to choose because there are so many…perhaps one of the Renaissance painters, such as Leonardo da Vinci. I’d like to find out how he worked and how he thought.

Would you prefer to be insanely rich or immortal?
– Neither.

Tell us something about your background.
– I did a lot of abstract figurative painting. Today, I am looking to revive a traditional Japanese painting technique. In 1600-1800 they used a lot of silver leaf and gold leaf on which they then painted.  I work often with this technique, but instead of using oil paint pigments I am looking to combine my traditional Japanese techniques with modern materials in an innovative way.

Who is your favorite artist?
– Michelangelo.

If a genie gave you three wishes what would they be?
– The health of my child, the health of my family and no more earthquakes…

The colors are powder pigments that were mixed together in order not to interfere in their purity, but overlaid for bright glazes. These repetitive steps, almost ritualistic, penetrate to gradually reach the refined and controlled tones. The elegance of the compositions of this technique is achieved through the brilliance of gold and silver leaf. Traditional Japanese art made extensive use of these precious foundations. The glitter of powdered calcite crystals provides additional light to the work. The result creates a sort of delicate and opalescent amalgam.