Kenjio on Etsy is the shop of Daniel Lai an artist based in Knoxville, Tennessee, US. Of Chinese descent, he was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A resident of the U.S. since 2000. He received a MA in Art Studies and Art History, in 2006, among his various intellectual pursuits.
His work has been published in books and magazines. He has achieved national and international awards.
I am drawn intently to the intrinsic intellectual struggle, as well as the sculptural form his work addresses. The choice of words in describing one’s own work is indelibly personal. I asked Daniel Lai to provide an artist statement to describe his glass and paper sculpture, works which he sells at Kenjio – Art for the Soul.
Daniel Lai ARTIST STATEMENT
My work is a three-dimensional journal that conveys snippets of my emotions and feelings toward life. The triggers of such emotions and feelings often revolve around the notion of knowledge, life’s necessities, struggles, and relationships. I often get the inspiration from Daoism; therefore, my art often centers on the notion of dichotomous equilibrium, for example, creating by destroying.
I often use words to express my experiences but, naturally for an artist, I find them inadequate to convey how I truly feel. As a result, I translate these words to a visual form that is three dimensional, simplistic, and often relatable to many. I call these sculptures “three dimensional hieroglyphs of my experiences.” Often times, the true meaning of text and words are just beneath that thin layer of their lexical meaning. In other words, we live in a metaphorical world and my sculptures are the visual forms of such metaphors. Returning to my earlier example, I truly do create my art by destroying the material.