A diary on display

Takashi Iwasaki’s abstract art from abstract ideas

Takashi Iwasaki at his in-home s tudio with daughter Donika.

Photo by Simeon Rusnak

A mural collaboration between Takashi Iwasaki and Gabrielle Funk decorates The Good Will Social Club. Photo by Takashi Iwasaki

Takashi Iwasaki calls his abstract art diary entries. He draws from daily experiences to bring inspiration to his work. 

“Instead of writing in a diary, I paint or embroider or make collages,” Iwasaki says. “Very simple things or ordinary things in my life could be inspiration for me.” 

Architectural magazines and buildings, furniture and fashion have all been sources of inspiration. 

“Those (are) things I often have in mind when I’m making my artwork,” Iwasaki says. 

He seems set in his style and work, a dynamic breed of vibrant colours and emotive esthetics with a knack for lines, tone and space. 

Iwasaki says that with much of his work, he tries to depict things he thinks about that can’t be seen or understood by other people. He has difficulty describing in words what these things might be. 

Much of Iwasaki’s work comes with some loose-leaning psychedelic stylings, but also has the level of ambiguity and creative invention that gives his work a widespread appeal through ease and openness of interpretation. 

“I have certain starting points for my artwork. But I don’t want it to be what viewers perceive either,” Iwasaki says. 

He says sometimes people come up to him and tell him what they see in his work, but it’s not something that he sees in his own piece. 

“I like the communication when that happens, to know what people associate with my work,” Iwasaki says. “Like if I just paint a really realistic picture of an apple, probably people only just think of it as a picture of an apple. My work always has an ambiguity and freedom of thought that’s given to the viewer.” 

He specialized in drawing when he graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Nowadays, though, Iwasaki works in many different mediums. 

Iwasaki has experimented with multiple mediums with his art, spanning from paint, embroidery and collage, to sculpture, drawing, mural and public art. 

The result seems to have expanded his visual repertoire and his capacities for creation. 

“I usually find I can’t keep doing the exact same thing for a long period of time. And I always like working with this and that and this again. So I like working with different mediums which allows me to do one thing and when I’m getting tired I’ll go try another idea and work with something else,” Iwasaki says. 

Iwasaki has a show coming up in Winnipeg on Feb. 5 at the Lantern on Pacific Avenue. 

For the exhibit Iwasaki has been working on new larger pieces with acrylic paints on canvas. He says he will be showing some older pieces as well, but it will mostly be recent works.

Published in Volume 70, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 4, 2016)

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