Kouichi Okamoto, the founder and the mastermind behind Kyouei design, is no ordinary designer. At his base in Shizuoka, Japan, spools of metal wires painstakingly transform into a geometric precise chair, randomly generated sounds from countless music boxes underscoring the atmosphere and overhauled lights making the space decidedly Okamoto. Odd, yet persistently attractive, these unique components mingle together into a complex, conceptually aware, yet über-cool piece of work.
Spread across myriad media, Okamoto appears to thrive on circumventing the boundaries between materials, crossing over the fields of music, design, art and performance. Something no doubt rooted in his initial career as a sound producer, releasing tunes through a Dutch techno label.
Okamoto first made his mark in 2006, founding Kyouei design and holding a solo exhibition at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art following soon after.
Since then, his portfolio has been showcased internationally at Pola Museum Annex, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, to name but a few.
Always tapping into a sense of playfulness and a touch of unpredictability, his thought-provoking objects remain accessible. Gravity Painting and Magnetic Field Record, for instance, both consisting of specially made, complicated sculptural mechanisms that utilise movements of gravity and magnetic fields, producing live paintings that are simply mesmerising.
In the other foremost piece, Water Clock, a water-filled plate containing two floating marbles is transformed into a face of a perfectly functional clock through a clever use of magnets.
With recurring kinetic references and the deftness of a minimalist, his work succeeds in holding a lasting resonance.