Kai Shinomura is a visual artist working in the medium of 3D art and CGI. His art is dreamlike and uncanny – Under Kai’s influence, familiar textures of skin and metal become fluid and rubbery; Kai’s work is how I imagine the dreams of a sentient A.I look and feel.
Shinomura has done a myriad of works, ranging from visuals that have been used on album covers from the likes of artists such as AJ Simons, Adamn Killa & W3bcam, futuristic fashion designs with James Wallace. In an online show arranged by Better Together earlier this year, Shinomura’s visuals were displayed throughout the entire livestream. A mix of apocalyptic low-poly Google Maps renders and glossy futuristic logotype, the audio-visual experience was unique and impressive.
We spoke to Kai about his thoughts on online art, and his creative process and inspirations.
Kai Shinomura [IG: garonganut] has joined #CO
How did you get into cgi?
I was originally inspired by transformers, where I started off with drawing them until I saw some behind the scenes footage of how the robots went from concept drawings to fully animated models. This was probably the first time I saw the methods behind computer graphics magic.
Who are some artists whose work you admire?
Aaron Beck is one of my biggest inspirations in terms of digital artists. His ability to design mechanical pieces in such a purposeful way has really impacted how I go about designing anything in 3D. Asides from him, before I got into 3d/digital art, the artworks of Kwangho Shin, Gottfried Helnwein and David Rappeneau were some of my favourites.
Many of your concepts play on ideas of technology and futurism, the wingsuit and Gundam boots are a great example of this - What is your process for transferring an idea to a virtual 3d object?
Technology is one of the more consistent motifs at focus throughout the art I’ve made, specifically I’m inspired by the merging of technology with everyday life. This is sort of a broad term because medical technology and tech-in-fashion are just two examples of places where I have looked to tech for inspiration and I know I have lots of tech-inspo material untapped.
The backpack was actually the result of me wanting to create a robot that I thought up on a walk. Early human attempts to build a wingsuit that would enable flight were aesthetically inspiring for this. Through trying to solidify a concept I came to the idea of a wearable robot, and from there I looked to fashion and mechanics(Like the aesthetic properties of some of the bots coming out of Boston Dynamics).
The gundam boots were me trying to do something a little different, a Women’s fashion product. Gundams were something that, for as long as I was aware of, loved the way they looked. With gundams and women’s fashion in mind I also wanted to make something that wasn’t too conceptual. My goal was to make shoes that looked like they could be real gundams lower limbs, or also a fashion product.
What impact has the internet had on your work?
The internet has influenced my style through not only just being able to consume art from every part of the world and see styles at infinitum, but in doing so there is a realization that there is always more than one way to do something, and the internet has definitely opened my eyes/put my attention on disciplines that I would otherwise never have known about. My current fascination is on a program called Touchdesigner. It was an artwork of Refik Anadol on Instagram that first sparked my interest. This program excites me as it seems to bring lots of promise when it comes to live audio-reactive visual art.
How do you feel the internet and technology affect the way we interact with art?
Art consumption of all sorts being done using technology, being then uploaded to the internet definitely has increased the ability/access we have to these things. My greatest appreciation towards the internet and technology comes with how it empowers artists. If you really want to learn how to get into an artistic discipline, you certainly can.
Kai Shinomura [IG: garonganut] has left #CO