Hi, I’m Satoko the Head Curator of KoLe. I am very happy to announce a new artist joined us. He has been on a quite unique journey to find himself as an artist. So I would love to write about him here.

First thing first, please view the video below, it’s about one minute long.

Ecosystem, beach, Setouchi, sea glass or beach glass, Zen.
Does any of these words tickle your heart by any chance?
If it does, he is the artist for you!

When we talk about him,
We must explain one Japanese thing.

“EN” is a Japanese word often translated as “chance”, “fate”, “karma”, “bond”, “relation”. However, for me as a Japanese, any of words in English does not fit perfectly to describe the word “EN”. At the same time, without introducing what “EN” exactly is, we cannot introduce Kozy correctly.

Indirect causes as opposed to direct causes that produce results. Conditions and circumstances that subsidize the cause and produce the result.
Relationship between people. Also, the relationship with things. Chance of fate or fortune.

translation of “EN” explanation from a Japanese dictionaly.

As if there is current of a huge ocean that we cannot see and everything in the universe floating in it. Or as if some one intentionally guiding us towards something for a very very long term plans. That is the basic image of “EN”. The scale is way beyond what we can instantly imagine.

Born, Reborn, and Enlightenment

Kozy explains his life journey so far in 3 stages. “Born”, “Reborn” and “Enlightment”. But I would like to add one more stage “Development”.

photograph by Kozy at Yamada Beach

Born in 1973.

Has he been trained to be an artist from younger age? ….No.
“It was like living from force of habit when I think back on it now”
so, tells Kozy about his life until he encounter with Yamada Beach.

Reborn at Yamada Beach

He got an offer to work at a Beach house on Yamada beach. He was also shocked and fascinated by the beauty of the sunset on the beach.
” The experience seemed like opening the door of my sensibility. “, Kozy describes. Also he tells that his values and view of life changed 180 degrees at the moment.

Through this job, he grew his interest towards the issue of sea garbage and micro plastics.

Development : from just doing it to intendedly doing it

While I was interviewing Kozy, I felt I should add one more phase here. He includes these changes in Reborn and a part of enlightenment. However, it is important for me to highlight the process of one non artist becomes an artist.

Start was ” told to do so” so “just doing it”

As a staff of the beach house, he was told to take photos and run the Instagram account of the beach house. Firstly he was just doing what he was told to do.

2 years of piling sea glass

One day, when he was looking at other Instagram accounts, he found a few photos that people are piling things, like pebbles. He decides to try it with pieces of sea glass. From this point the action changed from passively doing to actively doing.

First 2 years was about practicing and experimenting piling pieces of sea glass, according to Kozy.

During this period, he must have started to feel some healing effect by piling sea glass.

3 years of noticing and learning composition to express

For 3 years, he learned basics of composition to take photographs by a photographer. This made him notice “composition can be used to express”.

It might seem very basic and elementary thing for some of you. But as a curator, I must mention that this change was a very important moment for a non artist. By him learning these technical things, the photos were no longer recording tool for him, it became a tool to express something.

Finding inner theme.

photograph by Kozy

After getting some techniques, his photo changed “just a snap to record” to “something to express”. This is a huge step and moment to see a non artist to become an artist.

To think about “what to express” and “how to express” is essential for an artist. And Kozy naturally shifted to this part.

By considering composition and other elements, his photograph start to change. Then he started to experience the audiences ask the same questions, ” what is the theme of your piece?”.

That gave him an opportunity to face his pieces and himself.

Through whole process of him creating a piece, he had found connection to nature, ecosystem, mind of peace. Thinking back the entire experiences, he noticed one theme has always been with him. “Light and shadow”, “Yin Yang”. Shinier one side shines, its shadow gets darker. Everything is paired with light side and dark side.

Enlightenment in 2020

As I explained it to you earlier that he is a newly found artist.

In 2020, he noticed something clearly changed…

…through the reaction he gets on SNS. Also he started to realize that everything was connected to build him who he is now.

Back in years, he was visited by a few pilgrimages* on Yamada beach. Having conversation with them also gradually sprouted Kozy’s inner Zen. That could helped him to reach the art style he has now. What he really wants to do through his art proves it.

*Shikoku island, where we are, is famous for 88 temples pilgrimage. Lately, it is also popular for a lot of foreigners.
>> details click here

“I want more adults to try this form” – Kozy

I secretly call him “Kozy SOURYO”. “SOURYO” means Buddhist priest. He is very calm like Seto inland sea and one of the most selfless people I know. When I hear the words from his mouth I was not surprised. What he really wants to do through his art is for other people to experience the same art form as Kozy for their inner peace and happier life.

To understand his art deeply, there is only one way. DO IT BY YOURSELF.

There are so much discovery through finding and picking up sea glass, piling them, taking photo of it.

Kozy explains,

“finding sea glass might seem very childish activity, but, the piece was once a product and needed by other people, then it was tossed by someone, in somehow drifted to the sea and ended up on the beach you happened to be on and found by you.

The piece you found is only one in the world and no other exact same piece exist on this universe. The object could be just a piece of crashed unwanted glass for someone but it is not for you.

I see “EN” and a small version of “reincarnation” in the activity.

Also finding the piece you like is an accumulation of success experience. It is good for your mind.

When you to take an action and what you felt or found through it is your own story. So, everything you experienced is correct. I want a lot of people to experience those.”

Kozy SOURYO is always thinking other people’s happiness and wellbeing.

For him, showing his art is just one side of his art form. The other part is within you.

Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur.

This is not Buddhism thing. It is Japanese tea ceremony way of thinking. But it also largely permeate Japanese culture and have influence on our mindset.

Kozy’s art is very thing is to do with this.

As I repeatedly mention that he is a newly found artist. He is also in the middle of developing his art. Who knows, in a few years, he might be challenging on some totally different art form from now.

For you to come across with the current Kozy and this article is EN. What he is creating now is a part of “Treasure every meeting, for it will never recur”.

Product under development.

Kozy and I are working together to think how to deliver his art to you at the moment. Framed printed photographs are under the way. Also we are planning workshop with him on a beach of Setouchi.

We will announce once the products are ready. If you would like heads-up, please subscribe our blog.

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