Finding Utopia Amidst Chaos | Aruta Soup Interview


Aruta Soup at work in the studio

In a realm confined to the screen, a lone rabbit inhabits its own universe, bearing a poignant expression. Amidst endearing visages, vibrant hues, and the interplay of graceful yet daring lines, unfolds a delicate narrative of everyday existence. Whitestone Gallery proudly unveils the debut solo exhibition of Aruta Soup, an artist whose craft transcends the boundaries of graffiti. Join us as we venture into the artist's studio to explore the intricacies of his creative journey.

ARUTA SOUP Solo Exhibition: Ruins

Rising from Every Knockdown

"SANDWITCH (peace maker) " 2024, 193×169cm, Water based paint on Canvas.

From "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" to characters like Peter Rabbit and Miffy, rabbits have captured people's hearts with their adorable nature. While rabbits symbolize endearment, the depiction in Aruta Soup's works deviates slightly from the conventional image.

"HARD HITTER" 2024, 150×150cm, Water based paint on Canvas.

Cloaked in black attire with bandaged legs, adorned with white gloves, and sporting a plaster cast atop its head, the rabbit known as "ZERO" emanates a whimsical aura. From rummaging through refrigerators to strolling pets, ZERO partakes in mundane activities, only to find itself amidst colossal sandwiches or tethered to electronic gadgets. Oscillating between the ordinary and the fantastical, ZERO, depicted across canvases in diverse scenarios, embodies the resilience to traverse a world marked by chaos and strife, undergoing cycles of therapy and regeneration relentlessly.

Who is “Aruta Soup” ??

The artist’s studio

Aruta Soup, who relocated to the UK at 17 and pursued studies at Camberwell College of Arts in London, initially made his mark in East London's graffiti scene. Integrating influences from club culture, anime, and black humor, he has since cemented his presence in the realm of fine art upon returning to Japan in 2012.

"FLOWER" 2022, 150×150cm, 90×130cm, Water based paint and oil based paint on Canvas.

From solo exhibitions to collaborations with BE@R BRICK featuring "ZERO" as a model, alongside mural painting ventures spanning domestic and international arenas, Aruta Soup's portfolio is rich and varied. For Aruta, whose upbringing immersed him in the realms of art and music, painting serves as a profound expression of his existence. Consequently, the character of ZERO, embodying both the artist's essence and serving as a steadfast companion, symbolizes a shared journey through the intricacies of the world.

Expressing through the Physical, Unattainable in the Digital

The artist’s studio

Aruta Soup's artistic process commences with meticulous rough sketches, crafted with precision using pencil and pen. These initial drafts serve as the foundation before transitioning into a vibrant digital palette. Through relentless experimentation with lines, composition, and hues, the artist refines the concept until it materializes into a cohesive vision.

"In terms of color, there is a feeling that cannot be achieved through digital output—the challenge lies in how to express the colors I envision in my mind with paint. It's crucial to present the significance of physical output to viewers. I'm always willing to put in the effort, combining various paints through trial and error to incorporate colors that don't exist in nature (RGB) onto the canvas, creating a sense of immersion. I also incorporate the expertise and knowledge of craftsmen for this purpose."

Enhancing the Outline of Art: The Expression of Lines

The artist’s studio

Among the many elements that constitute a painting, such as medium, color, texture, and style, "lines" are the most crucial. Aruta Soup invests extraordinary passion into line drawings, which significantly influence the quality of the artwork. Flowing lines reminiscent of graffiti art capture the contours of the painting world vividly.

"When thinking about what sets me apart from other artists, I confidently say it's the lines. Whether it's a pen, brush, spray can, or any tool, I can compete with just one color. And because I wanted to challenge myself with lines only, I tried creating monochrome works for the exhibition in Hong Kong, and they turned out to be interesting."

Finding Stability in a World of Roaring Noise

The artist’s studio

The character ZERO, a recurring presence in Aruta Soup's artistic repertoire, transcends the confines of two-dimensional representation, extending into the realm of three-dimensional sculpture. Within the solo exhibition "Ruins" hosted at Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong / H Queen’s, visitors encounter sculptural renditions of ZERO quietly nestled within the exhibition space, adding a tangible dimension to the artist's imaginative world.

Prototype of the three-dimensional work scheduled for display in Hong Kong.

"The sculptural works to be exhibited this time are collaborative works with sculptor Makoto Sakurai. Creating three-dimensional works is as crucial as two-dimensional works; it's an essential element that immerses viewers in the space expanding within me. And for me, it's like a soul's cornerstone. Even if I plunge into chaos and feel like I'm being swallowed up, as long as ZERO is with me, I can confidently return to where I belong. I hope viewers feel the same way."

The artist’s studio

In today's hyper-information society brought about by the internet age, while individual expression has become more accessible, there's an overwhelming proliferation of all sorts of information, to the point of inducing weariness. In an era where novelty is praised as truth, what should each of us truly seek? Aruta Soup presents the anchor for our daily lives through the universal act of drawing.

The solo exhibition "Ruins" at Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong / H Queen’s runs from March 25th to May 11th, 2024. Explore the collection inspired by crumbling murals emerging from the corners of collapsed buildings.

ARUTA SOUP Solo Exhibition: Ruins

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