At HEW Clothing, collaborating with artists is at the heart of what we do. That’s why we are thrilled to announce that our newest collection will feature the perfectly delicate prints of Japanese artist Ennakonoma.
Ennakanoma studied design and animation at Tokyo Zokei University, which included time abroad at the University of West England, Bristol. The artist incorporates watercolour, acrylic, ink and mixed media into her work and has held solo exhibitions in both Tokyo and her home town of Niigata. Her work is known for its soft, abstract style that effortlessly straddles the line between tranquility and activity and is narrated by eye catching colours and shapes. Inspired by a range of vastly different locations, such as the small neighbourhoods of the UK to the city of Tainan in Taiwan, Konoma amplifies her sensory experiences through her free-flowing brush strokes and intuitive use of colour. Saying of her work, “my internal dialogue just has an external conversation with the paper”. And what a beautiful conversation that is.
As well as her large-scale artworks, Ennakonoma also produces designs for fashion, textiles and homewares, making her an ideal HEW Clothing collaborator. We asked her a few questions to learn more about her process and what inspires here. Have a look below!
We noticed the concept of “landscape” comes through in many of your designs. What is it about this idea in particular that inspires your work?
I am interested in the connection/relation between houses/buildings. The continue their evolution within their surroundings. Every shape made by a building influences the other.
What was your approach for the print work you did for HEW Clothing?
This was one of my "abstract poem" series. Similar to creating a poem my colors are dancing together. Each color applied by me makes sense only after put next to another color and starts dancing. My role is to give them proper chemistry that enables them have a happy activity.
Do you have any colours or colour combinations you find yourself returning to over and over? What is it about this colour or combination that you like?
To be honest I never have the best recipe for myself. I call these color combinations "harmony" or "amalgamation" and I believe they always show me which colors they want to be the next. I just listen and try to figure out the best position. I try to carefully listen to the colours.
Are there any uniquely Japanese techniques or concepts you use when creating your art?
Although some say my painting style doesn't reflect typical Japanese arts, I do believe my paintings includes a somewhat "geeky" elaboration/repetition. These are what many people think what jp's art/Otaku culture is.
How have your various travels inspired your work?
Travel is important to feed my inspiration and life. Inhaling fresh air in the fresh place and meeting new people/food/culture my right hand and spirit pretty much start craving the brand-new creation. By painting in an unfamiliar place I truly enjoy encountering new expression or idea that comes from the serendipitous experience.
You create many prints and designs for a range of different things, such as fashion and homewares. Do you have a favourite type of design work?
I am always enjoying illustrating/designing as well as painting because when I have someone creates with me my illustration surprisingly changes with the unprecedented vector.
I love the experiment.
Especially loving to work for gift packages. No one hates getting and even giving splendid packaged things!
Has the current COVID-19 pandemic influenced your work or your approach to making art in any way?
During covid19 I really attempted to paint so many flowers with happy/jovial colors people may feel happy and relaxing. I think I've been trying to paint "not to make" people sad and took care not to give someone negative influence.
We are so excited for you to see her works in our forthcoming Spring Summer range. Stay tuned!