Ottokaji Iroke

Since I was little, I spent a lot of my time in the atelier of a painter, because my parents were busy in the day time. Back then, I have admired African American culture, hip-hop and basketball as an Asian kid. Naturally, misfitting cultural preference from my country's main culture drove me to fall in love gestural painting which became my thing as a base for my art practice, and now I am spreading out to other media from this base including sound, video and installation as a set with a sense of enjoyment and hopes in the behind as a total, like a dutch total-soccer in 1998. However, this is a part of my process to create a powerful painting and in order to get there, I have been investigating how to give a feeling of ‘still going-on’ which look like keep changing because that is my state which I believe very human. I have been investigating how to present my works to the audience which is raising up doubts whether it is still building-up or done. That is my main interest at the moment.

I reflect contemporary art in my formative practice by presenting all different visual energies in a given space. There is a lot of information in this world through Instagram, internet memes, game, music etc. This era is in a flood of information. As an individual who is going through this environment, it is necessary to calm yourself quickly and move on. Infinite world and definite thoughts are crossing each other constantly. I do not stick in the definite moment, so I travel uncertainty, but in the end, I present all the moments that I collected. All the forces are offsetting each other which the sum of physical forces put on an object becomes almost 0, then it is stable and calm. The perfect moment to reckon. Although I present my formative activities to the viewers with this principle, sometimes I install slowly moving object in the given space as well to cool down the intensity a bit. I grew up in Seoul, where all the trend changes rapidly. For the young generation, it is normal to be sick of the stick in one position, so my patience does not allow me making almost the same things, and it needs to be done quickly allowing other possibilities and then, a bit later I can add up something with a completely different mindset like a different person. This is a very natural process which allows everyone to become a flying dot.


In other words, my fundamental question is, ‘What is in between mankind and certainty, and how I relate to it now’. My painting has nothing to do with Western art history. My temporal answer for this is presenting the interconnection of infinite and definite moments using visuals and audio. Painting is one of the most crucial elements for this since I see every incident in this world as a collection of dots on a graph, which means that default points maybe do not exist. As time is ticking, my location is always changing relatively, even though it seems like the same position, it is not. In that sense, painting is also a moving creature. Suggesting paintings to the viewers in a given space as a human being is a kind of a counter-attack to this gravity because it is opening a portal by adding up one more axis to this 4-dimensional reality. It is a magical fight and many people are still fighting for it. In visual suggestions, oxymoronic moments has to be there for the viewers which are calm but strong without confusion. Space, colours, texture, materials, and the accumulation of my daily life are all inter-connected with and without orders, but an assertive attitude has to be shown not to give a confusion. For this, taking care of little details is a crucial part for me. I dream the world without direction. Thus, methodologically, I intentionally adapt contrasts in my practice, for example, light and heavy materials, bright and darkness, personal and non-personal objects respectively together to draw a thin line between intention and non-intention, which is also subjective and relative. This is for giving a space for the viewers to imagine and reflecting themselves in the given experiences. It is a ‘dimensional art’. 

Ottokaji Iroke (1989), lives and works in Groningen, NL from Seoul, Korea

Frank mohr institute  (Groningen, NL)            Painting                                      M.F.A          2020

Hongik University   (Seoul, Kor)                          Painting, Graphic design    B.F.A           2017

+31 682212476

© 2020 By Ottokaji

ottokaji_logo_black copy.png