On Friday evening, my brother and sister and I attended the most amazing art exhibition by Asaki Kajima. Asaki is married to my brother's best friend, so I'd heard about her work but had never had a chance to see it. It surpassed all my expectations, I was enthralled with the beautiful form and detail of her pieces, and the incredible shadows they cast.
Originally from Japan, Asaki is influenced by the art form ikebana, where nature and humanity are brought together. Rather than focussing on the blooms, ikebana often emphasises other areas of the plant, such as it's stem and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line, and form. All of Asaki's pieces have enormous personal meaning to her and I loved hearing her stories behind them. Although it's nice to interpret art in your own way, Asaki's work meant more to me, becoming quite clear, after listening to her explanations.
|This piece 'Circulation' won Asaki an award at the No. 8 Wire National Art Award|
Copy writer, Lizzie Russell, wrote a beautiful description of Asaki's first solo exhibition, 'Escape'. And because I couldn't say it any better, I've borrowed a few excerpts to share with you (I've condensed her words slightly)...
Asaki's work gently pulls us into a natural but dreamlike world, where organic shapes, and a mixture of found materials, merge seamlessly to form a collection of ethereal sculptures. It addresses growth, loss, the mingling of her two environments, and the idea of home and belonging in these works.
The combination of natural and man-made, hard and soft materials, allows Asaki to explore complex emotional ideas, and a wider concept of what it is to escape. Most of the natural material used in this collection - seedpods, sticks, ferns and other vegetation - were found and collected here in Hawke's Bay. By using these found elements, Asaki grounds her work here in her beloved adopted place, and suggests that escape can also be a kind of homecoming.
|My favourite piece 'Purification' - you can clearly see the turmoil in the black cloud, and the rain (or tears) that are the purification that wash the heaviness away|
If you're in Hawke's Bay I highly recommend you go and see the exhibition for yourself. It runs until 1st December 2013, and is in Asaki's studio, 118 Hastings Street, Napier (above McClurg Jewellers). If you want to get hold of Asaki, drop me an email, and I'll pass on her contact details.
|Asaki was too shy to have her picture taken, but I managed to snap this one with her in the background. With three of her Japanese friends, Asaki is in the middle facing us (and that's my gorgeous sis in the green)|
And on a quick, final note... it took me a while, but I have finally joined Instagram! Yes, I know, where have I been?! Well, I'm here now and am fully embracing it - I absolutely love it. Differing from this blog and my Facebook and Twitter pages (which are all about interior inspriration), my Instagram page will be behind the scenes, and a sneak peek into my life.