Kazunori Kura creates his artworks across various media such as drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, words, and so on. There are philosophical considerations behind his artworks, which are about the existence of things and phenomena. To build and visualize poetic structures in his works, he works with a consistent aesthetic beyond the media.
Kura was born in Tokyo in 1986. From 2004 to 2008 he studied graphic design at Tama Art University and then worked as a graphic designer in Tokyo. At the same time, he started to develop his private works around 2011. In 2015 he moved from Japan to Germany to turn his primary focus from design to art. He studied fine art with professor Jorinde Voigt from 2015 to 2019 at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and from 2019 to 2021 at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg.
Kura’s substantial career as an artist has begun with “The Power to Believe” series in 2016. At the starting points of his works, there are always some fundamental questions. For Example, “The Power to Believe” series has begun with such a question; how do things and phenomena, including ourselves, exist in the environment where we live? He grasps that every existence we recognize could just be the images we created if we are not living “in fact”, but “in reality.”
What is a fact, and what is reality? The definitions of those words are especially important for the artist and his works. Facts are proven by scientific observations, but in order for the facts to perform their role in our lives, it is essential whether we can believe the facts as reality. For example, for the people who lived in the era of the geocentric theory, the sun revolved around the earth. That was their reality. But we –most of us at the present time– know that the earth revolves around the sun. That is our reality. A fact stands always as a fact, but realities could be changed anytime.
“I never proved the heliocentric theory by myself, however, I believe in that as a scientific fact. In that sense, in the respect that I just blindly believe in a theory, my policy is no different from that of the people in the era of the geocentric theory. It is because I’m not living in fact, but just in reality. Everyone is leaning on their own reality, in order to live”, Kura said. There is no objective fact in the world we live in. Each event is recognized by the subject's consciousness and each person lives in their own reality constructed as a complex of this recognition. All human beings can only exist in their own unique reality, which is constantly being shaken by the constant changes of the subjective self. In that sense, the essence of everything is how one perceives the existence and state of the world, that is, how one believes it, and the essence of the existence of the self is the power to believe in it.
Kura incorporated this idea into his works of the series “The Power to Believe” in a philosophical and linguistic way. “Does the forgotten still exist in this world?” “Can the world exist without the subject of the self?” Such individual questions were derived from the main theme of the series and developed as the works. During his six years of study in Germany, he consistently produced works on this theme and in 2021 he finished the series with his graduation work “Where there is a will there is a way” and the master thesis “The Power to Believe”. But his basic stance as an artist is continuing for the next projects. “A good theory should be put into practice. A beautiful concept should be realized with beautiful technique.” The artist is now trying to bring the theory he developed in “The Power to Believe” series into the step of the practice.
In order to reflect his thought processes, Kura uses different materials, techniques, and methods for each artwork. His speciality as an artist lies not only in the superficial style of his works but mainly in his unique perspective and concept-making behind them. The perspectives, concepts, ideas, and processes he follows to answer his questions become his works and they reveal the connections between the viewer and their own world. His works show us that humans generally live in a kind of illusionary world and how those illusions unite or divide us at the present time.