Artists  •  Featured

5 minutes with Kaoru Shibuta

Exciting Japanese painter Kaoru Shibuta has exhibited his work both at home in Japan and abroad in Spain, Taiwan, and Cambodia. Inspired by jazz and classical music, he predominately composes paintings that act as visual transformations of musical notes. His poetic symphony harnesses the energy of his rich local culture and blends nature, music, and art into one voice.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

My mother was very good at painting. When I was child, I drew a wooper looper with her. and her watercolor painting gave me a great shock. It’s worth pointing out that my one was like a foul road, so I was jealous of her.

Then I decided to be an artist when I was about 26.  I learned face drawing when I was a makeup artist, and it was fun. I felt the sight of an open field relieved the eye after a long confinement in the city. My heart leapt.


Can you talk about your artistic influences and other artists you are most inspired by?

I make use of my experience. Nature, in which I grew up freely, has always inspired me, as well as Japanese animation. I have learned Japanese tradition and calligraphy, Japanese painting, tea ceremony, Ikebana, and zen meditation. My skills have been enhanced through learning oil painting, glass works, and make-up art from many teachers.

There are so many great artists, but my absolute favorite artist is CY Twombly.

Do you prefer to work alone or collaborate with others?

I mostly work by myself. Every art residency program is so wonderful in India, Europe, and Japan. Last year, I had a live painting with an African jazz musician in Barcelona. I also translated a song from a local musician into a mural at a local art festival in Japan.

Jazz night, 2020

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

Now I want to deliver paintings all over the world. I want all people to have a fulfilling life in their home. This month I was able to send artworks to various parts of Japan, Australia, the United States, Berlin, and London.

Also I am taking part in some online exhibitions. Then I participate in mural art via a mail project for Elisabeth Jones Art Center in US, and a SPAR Virtual residency program in St. Petersburg.

What do you think you would you be doing if you weren’t an artist?

There are many roads I could have gone down: a makeup artist for fashion, a healer, a monk, a tea ceremony teacher, a mathematician, or an environmental activist.

Have you found any other artists on Singulart whose work you admire?

I have never been in contact with other artists on Singulart. I want to see their work, but I have no time. I saw at Singulart – I don’t know the name of the work but it is famous – a face drawn with strong colors and touch lines. It is also depicted in the center of the East Side Gallery in Berlin. I held this piece in very high regard.

What advice could you give to young artists starting out?

Have fun and be happy making mistakes – you can use me as a reference! There are about 10 process of development in my work: research, influence, creation, break down, research again, creation, breakthrough, recording space.

And I recommend zen meditation or yoga!

Kaoru Shibuta

Thank you Kaoru! Click here to view his Singulart profile and discover more of his works!