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Takanori Kurokawa

Takanori Kurokawa is a two-dimensional glass artist who has exhibited primarily in Japan, particularly Tokyo, and internationally in the United States, France, Germany, and Portugal. He has participated in residencies in Japan and across Europe. Although Takanori’s work may appear like digital art or traditional surface paintings, they are in fact glass art made with small grains of glass attached to wood panel. These intricate glass artworks are symmetrical and perfectly proportionate conveying simplified images in repetitive motion to convey a cohesive surface of contemporary design principles. 

The images come off as appearing digitized as if they were digital representations from a 1980’s Atari video game. Often pixelated and small, the design elements usually spread across in diagonal rows. Takanori often uses muted tones of bright and neon colors in his glass works. 

One Day, In the Forest (top of article) represents slugs in variations of green, from neon greens to turquoise to dark greens almost resembling black. Without closer inspection, the slugs may be mistaken for jet bombers or drones of war on their way to a bombing run. The glass work represents a clean surface, spread out evenly with a pristine mirror-like effect. What could be interpreted as a work of cuteness can also ironically be viewed as a message of death and destruction due to the lack of clarity in the forms. 

I Have No Goals In Life (pictured above) represents a clear distinct message of text. With variations of blocked out text and colored text, the top line reads “ I Have No Goals” while the bottom line reads “I Have No Life”. The work conveys a concept of the meaning of purpose in contemporary society. With our advanced digitized age full of stimulation and distractions pulling us in various directions, finding purpose and meaning in life may be difficult for some. In the end, our goals are what we make of ourselves rather than what contemporary society dictates upon us. With the age of social media, emphasis has been placed on instant gratification and glorified attention which distracts from the important goals and quiet achievements in our highly advanced globalized society. 

Takanori Kurokawa’s work represents art which should not be judged upon at first glance. While the work may be initially dismissed as simplistic digitized retro representations of images, they are in fact detailed and intricate glass designs painstakingly put together to convey clear and concise concepts to think about our roles in contemporary society. Takanori’s art remains purposeful and nuanced despite the initial reaction it may present. First impressions are not everything, upon closer examination underneath the surface we find art which communicates philosophical musings on contemporary psychology and sociology. Takanori Kurokawa remains a thoroughly thought-provoking artist who creates aesthetically pleasing contemporary designs as a statement against decorative aesthetics and towards what could be described as intricate minimalism.


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