Kuheiji Kuno is an artisan sake brewer in Nagoya, a city in the Aichi region of Japan. After discovering Claude Monet’s impressionist painting, Nymphéas [Water Lilies], Kuno’s passion for art was sparked and became an integral part of his life. He expresses that passion in his new brewery. A conversation with an ultimate art lover.
Where does your interest in art come from?
For some reason, I have been attracted to France since I was young, and my first trip there was when I was 18 years old. At that time, I happened to stop by the Orangerie museum. I was shocked to see Monet’s Water Lilies room. I still remember the feeling of being in that room and being transported back to the pond of that time. Looking back, that may have been the beginning.
Can you tell us a little bit about the pieces you bought on SINGULART?
I am a sake brewer and I have built a new brewery. The pieces are meant to decorate the brewery. As a maker and craftsman, I wanted to work in a space surrounded by art.
Why was it important to have art in your workspace?
Seeing artwork every day brings me revelations. When I’m tired or distressed, casting myself into art and the artist’s feelings brings me new inspirational light.
How did you discover SINGULART?
Until now, the only place for me to purchase art was at galleries, where there were only a limited number of works available and–in the case of Japan–it was almost impossible to purchase large works of art. When I discovered SINGULART, I was amazed with their sales process and catalogue: the possibility to examine every detail of an artwork, negotiate prices, or discover artists’ works from all over the world. But also, the speedy delivery, the all-inclusive price model and return policy, as well as the algorithm that prioritizes the user’s point of view were all things that surprised me in a good way. Once I got used to searching for artworks on SINGULART, I realized that there is no other gallery in the world that offers such a wide variety of artworks.
“I feel that there is no need for a real gallery anymore.”Kuheiji Kuno
Do you remember the first time you fell in love with an artwork?
The epiphany was the discovery of Monet’s work. It was a chance encounter. From there, I began to actively look at and learn about artworks. I guess the work that I admire the most is Pablo Picasso’s. But the first thing I bought was a glassware from Émile Gallé.
How do you think art can impact society?
I believe that human existence itself is art. I believe that art is at the very core of human beings. Art is the element that compensates for what each individual lacks, according to their personality. The opposite of desire, the opposite of what we don’t have, the opposite of joy, the opposite of sadness, the opposite of anger, the opposite of war, the opposite of peace, the opposite of disaster, the opposite of a peaceful existence, the past and the future…and so on. In my case, art is the presence that fills what I lack.
“I believe that art is the element that brings what is missing in society.”Kuheiji Kuno
Do you have the aspiration to buy more art ?
Yes, this collection is meant to make people feel emotions when they see it, as well as to fill the space. This collection is meant to evolve when the time is right.