What do a building facade in Taiwan, a bolt of fabric, and a gallery on Main Street in Winnipeg have in common?
Nothing, yet. But as of Jan. 24, they will all have hosted works of art by Takashi Iwasaki. A versatile artist whose distinct style crosses many different media, Iwasaki will be holding his first solo show since 2012 at the Edge Gallery, located at 611 Main Street, until Feb. 7.
Iwasaki will be mixing it up a bit for the Edge Gallery. “There will be paintings, embroidery pieces, and many small collages with quirky stories,” says Iwasaki.
One of the most common and apt descriptors for Iwasaki’s work is “colourful”; while his backgrounds may remain monotone, they are peppered with innumerable vivid shades of thread or paint.
He describes his bright pieces as being similar to journal entries. They are his way of telling a story, or relating a feeling, and sharing a kind of positive energy.
“I’ll be showing works which revolve around my ongoing theme of creation – visualization of my imaginary worlds and landscapes. That’s the central theme for this show,” says Iwasaki. “You can peek in on what’s going on in my head through the works.”
Previous sneak peeks into Iwasaki’s whimsical and multi-chromatic mind have sometimes been relayed through more abstract forms, though recognizable shapes and symbols also appear.
“Lately I’ve been enjoying making collages that have figures and stories in them, and putting them in elaborate picture frames that I make,” says Iwasaki.
“It’s been a fun way of creation for me to combine the shapes that I used to use in my paintings and embroidery, figures and characters to add more stories and dimensions in the contents, and a sculptural element by working on the details of picture frames – all those elements in one type of work.”
This combination of elements speaks to Iwasaki’s comfort across a range of media. While he may be more well-known for his embroidery work—having been featured in Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery (published by Arsenal Pulp Press) and in Fiberarts magazine—he has also lent his talents to CD artwork for musicians such as Sarah and Christian Dugas, and the Duhks.
Of course, there is also the Fubon Financial Center in Taipei, Taiwan – the building whose facade was decorated for a full year by an Iwasaki design titled A Place to Call Home.
Enjoyment of Iwasaki’s work can take place much closer to home for the next little while, as his show at the Edge will continue from Jan. 24 through to Feb. 7. Pop by the closing reception from 7-10 p.m. on Feb. 7 if you’d like a chance to meet the radiant mind behind these works.
Check out www.takashiiwasaki.info for more samples of Takashi Iwasaki’s past work, and www.edgevillage.com for this and other openings at the Edge Gallery.