Yuuki Morita Ethereal Sculptures and Digital Artworks
Exclusive Interview with Yuuki Morita, Finalist in Digital and Sculpture, 2019 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize
Yuuki Morita is a young concept designer from Japan who has recently started to dip his toes in the fine art world of sculpture. This brave soul entered the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2019 in both sculptor and digital category and had work selected as a finalist in both fields.
Yuuki Morita is a promising young sculptor whose muse is the ancient natural world and creates elegant emotive sculptures with the latest technology. He creates his work using a computer software called ZBrush and prints them out with a 3D printer. He then elegantly paints and adds other materials to them to fit his concept design. I had a chance to see one of Yuuki Morita’s sculptures in person and was astonished at the amount of detail and close representation to his digital concept counterpart. Using this new form of medium, Yuuki Morita is opening up the world of possibilities for digital artists.
We hope you enjoy our exclusive dual language interview, written in English and Japanese!
Other than the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, Yuuki Morita has won third place in the CG Student Awards a few years ago.
To enter the 2020 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize in any of the four Award categories: INPRNT Traditional Art Award, Yasha Young Projects Sculpture Award, ZBrush Digital Art Award or iCanvas Photography Award, and for your chance to receive global exposure for your work + share in over US$35,000 in cash and prizes, click here.
The Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize was your first art competition, what motivated you to enter? 初めてコンペを出すのはBeautiful Bizarre アートプライズでしたね、なぜ応募してみようと思ったんですか？
ちょうどアート作品を作り始めたのが２０１９年で、初めたてでアートをやっている友人も少なく、どこで作品発表や展示をしたらいいのか全くわからなかった時、Instagramで見つけたのがBeautiful Bizarre Art Prize２０１９でした。自分の作品がどのぐらいアートの場で通用するかを知りたかった。私は今までデザインの仕事で評価されてきたが、自分が本当にやりたいのはアートだと気付いてからは積極的にこのようなコンペに出していきたいと思っていた。
I only have just started engaging with fine art in 2019, so in the beginning, I really didn’t have many friends doing fine art and I didn’t know where or how I could exhibit my works. During this time is when I found the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2019 on Instagram and I applied because I wanted to know where my art stood. I have had recognition in my digital design work, but not my fine art work. So, when I found what I really wanted to do, I decided enthusiastically to apply to an art competition.
Congratulations for becoming a Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize finalist! What do you feel you have gained from this experience? Beautiful Bizarre アートプライズのファナリストに選ばれおめでとうございます！この経験を通して何か得たものはありますか？
I felt extremely honored. I have only just started to make sculptures, and to receive a prize in the middle of all this made me have no doubt in the direction that I am going. This gave me strength in creating new works moving forward.
Would you recommend others to enter the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize? If so, why?他のアーティストにこのコンペをおすすめしますか？もし進めるようでしたら、何故ですか？
もちろんお勧めします。このようなワールドワイドな大規模なアートコンペはまだ少なく、作品発表の場がSNSベースになった時代だからこそ、Beautiful Bizarre Art Prizeのような公式なコンペで賞を取ることに意味があると思います。
Of course, I would recommend this competition to others. There are not many world wide competitions like this, so one that represents and presents artwork with social media as it’s main platform, like the Beautiful Bizarre Prize, I think is very meaningful and important.
I use 3D printing as my medium, which opens me up to ridicule by the artists who hold traditional mediums as their weapon of choice. However, it is my belief that 3D printing fits in the age that we live in – whether it is wood, stone, clay and so on, the tools and techniques are based on those created by our predecessors.
Your education was in a vocational school and not an art school, what motivated you to choose a career in art? What did you study in university and how does it influence your work? 大学のほうのは、美大ではなく、専門大学でしたね。何故芸術的のキャリアーを選んだのですか？ 何を勉強しましたか、それが自分の作品に影響されましたか？
Although I grew up close to nature and art, I never tried to create anything myself. In high school, I didn’t take an art elective, I just took the normal study route. After graduating, I entered a typical general college for Psychology, and within this I became interested in knowing more about the world of animals and concentrated on Ecological Psychology. However, in the bottom of my heart, the desire to express my feelings still remained. This frustration built up until I couldn’t take in anymore and decided to become a designer. I first started out with visual effects and 3D graphics for movies and advertisements. Yet, I noticed myself gravitating towards work where I could express myself, alongside the commercial work I was receiving, and I now work on some fine art pieces as well.
How long have you been working as a concept artist, and what made you decide to try to interpret your works in sculpture? What are the challenges you face using 3D printing? コンセプトアーティストとしてはどれくらい働いていますか？立体作品を作ろうと思ったきっかけは何ですか？ ３Dプリントを使って作品を作るにあたってぶつかる壁などありますか？
I have been doing my job as a designer for 7 years now and I believe there is more for the viewer to interpret in a 3D sculpture than in a 2D image. There is a freedom in being able to view a sculpture from 360 degrees, meaning that it involves contingency. One of the themes in my work is ‘diversity’ and so for me, I prefer the sculpture form as it provides that freedom.
I use 3D printing as my medium, which opens me up to ridicule by the artists who hold traditional mediums as their weapon of choice. However, it is my belief that 3D printing fits in the age that we live in – whether it is wood, stone, clay and so on, the tools and techniques are based on those created by our predecessors. These techniques and tools were new at some point in time. Therefore, I don’t think we can mock those who use different types of techniques. Is the value in the work within skill? Or the emphasis on historical context? Or is the value placed on the over visual beauty? There really is no difference in the level of value we place on each artist. I hope that in the future, more variety in the artist’s process will be accepted worldwide.
I want to be able to make work that is loved by people after I am gone. For this purpose, there are still so many things that I have to accomplish.
I read in an interview that your mother and grandmother played a big influence in your art career. Your mother is a web designer and grandmother an oil painter. How did they shape the way you do art now? 過去のインタビューの中で自信のアートキャリアーは、母と祖母の影響が大きいと言われていましたね。お母様はウェブデザイナーでおばあさまは油彩画家ですよね。今の技法にどのように影響を与えましたか？
There is no doubt that my art making roots came from the family environment I grew up in. When I was little, my grandmother would paint oil paintings while my mother would draw pictures on the computer – I grew up with an intimate relationship with art. Thanks to my mother, I was able to have opportunities to be exposed to many parts of the natural world when I was a child, including fossils, insects, and gems. I was fortunate enough to uncover what I wanted to express and the foundations of the themes of my work at an early age.
Now that you have started making sculptures, what are your goals for the future? 造形作品を作りはじめましたが、これからの目標はなんですか？
I want to be able to make work that is loved by people after I am gone. For this purpose, there are still so many things that I have to accomplish. For example, I would love to make a gigantic sculpture that would be impossible to make on my own, and show it worldwide and gather reactions and feelings about the piece. I also hope to have my style of work picked up by a brand or do a collaboration of sorts.
My favorite mythical creatures are the Kirin and the Hakutaku. These two creatures are usually seen as symbols of world reformation, but also these types of creatures are representations of people who live in poverty and struggle.
Some of your conceptual works are of mythical creatures. Are you inspired more by western mythical creatures or Eastern? What is your favorite mythical creature and tell me why you like them? コンセプトデザインにはよく幻獣を表現していますね。一番気に入れってる幻獣は何ですか？どういうところが好きですか？西洋と東洋、どっちのほうが刺激を受けられましたか？
As one may expect, I prefer eastern mythical creatures. In western mythologies, the creatures are characters based on mythologies, whereas eastern mythical creatures are closely based on reality, and these stories spread through the fear and nobility of these creatures. For instance, the people of the past would find an unknown creature and would make stories about them. I feel that this kind of idol worship ideology is the root of Japanese people. My favorite mythical creatures are the Kirin and the Hakutaku. These two creatures are usually seen as symbols of world reformation, but also these types of creatures are representations of people who live in poverty and struggle. These godly creatures are brought about, through prayer and hope from these people, and I feel that these prayers are very much linked to the modern world.
Have you ever thought of making work using another medium besides 3d printing? ３Dプリント以外の素材を使用して作品を作ることを考えたことはありますか？
My style is having 3D printing as a base for my work and adding different kinds of materials to create my ideas. I started my career in 3D computer graphics, so using a 3D printer is just a natural shift for me – there is no reason for me to make my sculptures in anything else. I think that computer graphics work very well with mathematical models and still have the same flexibility as other mediums, such as clay. Unfortunately, the digital arts are still not considered mainstream in Japan. However, it doesn’t matter if you work with traditional tools, or digital tools, or anything else – you just need to use the tool that suits you, and my tool that suits me is digital.
What are some of your past or current artist influences? 現在か過去の中で影響を受けている作家は誰ですか？
In all the art that I have seen, the piece that had the most impact on me was Sato Gengen’s ‘Magokorozou’ (Statue of the Heavenly Nymph). This piece holds more magnificence, with its infinite pattern and an overwhelming visual appeal, than any conceptual or modern art. This work has the impact of once you see it in person, you are unable to forget about it. Outside of Sato Gengen, my influences were dependent on the phases in my life. There was a time when I was really influenced by Allen Williams, and another when I was influenced by Katsushika Hokusai.
In the art world, whether using traditional tools or digital tools, the freedom of making visual art will continue to grow by whatever means, and so people will want to use 3D printing. At this time in your life, having a deep understanding of your roots and your background, as well as accepting surrounding critique, is crucial to create an artistic base.
How did you feel about showing your work in New York for the first time for the show ‘Ritual’ at Haven Gallery this past December? 昨年の12月にニューヨークでHaven Galleryの’Ritual’グループ展に作品を初出展した後どんなお気持ちでしたか？
初めてのNY展示はとてもエキサイティングなものでした。なにより、アートを始めてまもない時期にNYの生きたアートに触れられたことが自分の中ではとても大きな経験となりました。 Having my work exhibited in New York for the first time was very exciting. Above all, being exposed to art in a place like New York, at a time when I had just started doing fine art myself, was a monumental experience for me.
Any message you would like to tell any young aspiring artist thinking about creating sculptures through 3D printing? 芸術を志している若者に対して何かメッセージはありますか？特に３Dプリントを目指 しているの方へ、なにかアドバイスはありますか？
In the art world, whether using traditional tools or digital tools, the freedom of making visual art will continue to grow by whatever means, and so people will want to use 3D printing. At this time in your life, having a deep understanding of your roots and your background, as well as accepting surrounding critique, is crucial to create an artistic base. I strongly believe this is just as important as spending time making artwork – you must capture and have a deep understanding of your own world.
Yuuki Morita plans to have some of his works in the Louvre Art Museum in Paris in December 2020.