Drawing away from the conventions of story books, Ishida’s works explore the significance of images when they are set free from the written word. Outside this paradigm, the initial significance of the image is lost, and reconstructed as a new point of departure.
Originally trained in figurative painting, Ishida has abandoned the traditional elements of the Western style, such as perspective, composition and tone, in favour of incongruous objects and text sharing the same dimensional space. No single object within each work is particularly the focal point; instead, they maintain their own autonomous presence.
Ishida’s narrative is influenced by TV programmes that he enjoyed as a child, which were based on traditional Japanese folktales. Fascinated by the variety of mythological creatures and the human characteristics that they take on, Ishida has incorporated these anthropomorphic elements in the figures that inhabit his works.
The image, like a toy which draws us into play, invites the viewer into a fantasy space in which they can navigate the complexity of the canvas and the decontextualised illustrations. Merging time, space and logic, Ishida’s works have no beginning, middle or end to their stories, and channel the child-like curiosity of a story book.
Keiji Ishida (b. 1975, Chiba, Japan) received a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art, London. He has been featured in numerous exhibitions across the UK, such as Artbelowzeroº, Westbourne Studios, London (2008); Designing 21st Century Structures in Art and Architecture, Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, London (2009); The National Open Art Competition 2010, Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester (2010); and Artworks Open 2013, Artworks Project Space, London (2013). Ishida is the winner of the 2007 Brenda Landon Pye Portrait Prize.