Can art change the world highly commended: Anri Araya

In Spring 2016 we ran a competition to find 13-25 year olds who are creating art that aims to make a difference. Anri Araya was highly commended by Neha Lakhanpaul.

Can art change the world highly commended: Anri Araya

Was the idea of 'changing the world' something you had considered before the competition?

Since I have been to America a lot of my ideas and thoughts have changed. It helped me build up my artistic side and I have friends who taught me how to be myself, speak my opinion and respect everyone, especially in our minority population. Sometimes we have to work twice as hard, because of the religion we're into, the ethnicity we are, the colour our skin is. These factors that made me learn that you have to be strong enough to stand up and know who you are and where you come from, and be proud of it. I've always had art to show my feelings. There are times where you get bullied at school because you don't really fit in, because you are not fully Japanese, or Spanish. I always wanted my music, my art to be the way to change something. A way of understanding that person is going through the same thing as you. You can find an escape through art. I think art can be a great way, a platform, to show love between each other, unity and peace.

Why do you think it's important that art attempts to bring about change?

I think art is a way to express ourselves, our frustration, our feelings, our emotions. Each and every single of one us has an opinion, and that can be shown in art. It puts you into a creative way of thinking and is a way of being more open minded.

Do you have a favourite piece of art — in any art form — that really changed the world for you?

I really like Kandinsky, his imaginative works, his abstract works with a great use of colour. I also like Salvador Dali's work The Persistence of Memory, where time is the theme.

When did you start making art?

Since I was in school, primary and secondary school. I won some art competitions and was displayed at the Town Hall in Madrid.

What else are you up to right now?

Right now I'm studying piano at New York University and trying to get myself into the art, music and fashion world. I am also thinking of doing a masters in Music Therapy. I'm trying to do as many piano concerts at the moment as I can, here in New York City.

I also draw most of my friends faces, in different ethnicities, to build a huge art wall, with a platform of unity.

What would be your ideal project to work on?

My ideal project would be have my art work displayed, and to show young kids, through my piano playing, to pursue their dreams no matter how difficult it is during that process of hustle, and never giving up in yourself.

What can we expect from you in the next year or so? Do you have any plans for new projects?

I am trying to move to New York City, and get an internship in the arts world. Get my piano playing together with a long programme to have as many concerts as possible. And especially finish an art work project I have in mind, Diversity.


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