New Dimensions Space Gallery, Denver, CO, 2019
My current show at SPACE presents my latest work, which is heavily inspired by recent life experiences.
Ever since I left my native Japan to move to the United Kingdom, my identity has been shifting among the values of vastly different cultures. This state intensified after moving to the U.S. The sense is of constantly existing between. The ambiguity can be obscure, causing confusion and conflict at different levels. I feel transient, vulnerable, and conflicted, but I also feel fascinated by the fluidity and would not change my experiences for anything. As I have moved from culture-to-culture, I have had to adapt—embracing the change and the excitement of the challenge. As a result, transformation is now a way of life.
After recently experiencing my father's memory loss and death, I had the tangible sense that part of my identity, particularly part of my Japanese self, disappeared. This experience accelerated my curiosity in my shifting cultural experiences. The overwhelming urge was to untangle my identities using my own visual language.
The installation work in this exhibit (“Undulating #1” and “Undulating #2”) is a direct response. My goal was to embody two different pieces, side-by-side, to contrast my internal dialogue. They encapsulate my lived values in the material tension, a limited color palette, and a dynamic rhythm. They also reflect my fascination with the power of repetition and the accumulation of time. The piece on the right is made using approximately 30 sheets of 2' x 3' Tyvek that I manipulated by hand, while the one on the left is made from approximately 100 pieces of 4.5' x 3' cut organza fabric that I manipulated using heat. Both works are transient—installed intuitively and spontaneously on site.
Similarly, my interest in printmaking is a direct response to my everyday life. All the prints in this show also reflect this most recent turbulent period in my life.
Photo: Wes Magyar