“To this day, I continue to carry my childhood fantasy. Coming from an eastern culture, my ideal world existed in colorfully illustrated books of foreign cities. I remember the cheerful colors and neatly designed architectural landscapes. My admiration for foreign places was so strong that I now live outside my country of Japan. From a child’s eyes, the Japanese culture seemed so dull and colorless. Although I now realize the beauty of simplicity and subtlety in my own culture, I still try to capture the excitement I experienced in those western books from my teenage years.
When I travel, unfamiliar places remind me that there is something special in every location. Each street corner has its own story and it reveals the beauty of life and death. Besides my visual attraction to space, signage also provides curious insights when I plan my paintings. Even commercial and road signs can reveal a lot of aspects about a place.
Recently I noticed myself painting more and more complex compositions. Somehow visual clutter is very appealing to my conscience. I see energy flow in them. Even though I despise chaotic living myself, I believe my paintings reflect our overloaded contemporary life style.
It is ironic that now I am inspired by the beauty of Japan as well.”
— Keiko Genka
Read this artist's biography
Keiko Genka graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Art and Design in 1997. Coming from an eastern culture her ideal world existed in colorfully illustrated books of foreign cities. To this day Keiko Genka continues to carry out her childhood fantasies in her paintings.
Her love and admiration for foreign places was so strong that she has chosen to live here and not in her home country of Japan. Keiko says, “Although I now realize the beauty of simplicity and subtly in my own culture, I still try to capture the excitement I experienced in those western books from my teenage years.”
You can see this beauty and excitement when you look at Keiko Genka’s work. Her colors fill the canvas, acting as a window to a busy urban streetscape. Genka can make small town street corners and local beer garden establishments have the excitement and vitality of Times Square in New York.