Studio Sunday: Misaki Kawai

A photo of Misaki Kawai's art studio


It’s Studio Sunday, so let’s take a look inside the studio of Misaki Kawai. Kawai is a Japanese artist originally from Kagawa Prefecture. The artist is known for her bright, cartoonish artwork that utilizes elements of what could be called naive style or heta-uma, a style of manga art that appears simplistic or “poorly drawn” but focuses on evoking emotion and expression more than realistic detail.


Kawai’s studio appears massive in this photo, and the artist seems to use every square inch quite thoroughly. This top-down viewpoint reminds me of images of other artist’s studios -- like that of Chris Ofili, for example, where the artist is pictured far below, hard at work, seemingly unaware of the camera’s presence.


I love seeing all the paint splatter and various colours that have overlapped on the floor where Kawai is working. It really makes it seem like the artist goes “all out” when creating paintings. The mess of paint also seems indicative of a carefree, playful painting process that echoes the playfulness of the imagery and colours in the artist’s work. Bottles of paint and cups of brushes are piled up right on the floor behind the artist -- there’s no table or really any furniture to speak of in this space.


Kawai works in a variety of media -- not only paint, but textiles like felt and yarn; paper-maché; and wood. Alongside her fine-art studio practice, Kawai also produces zines, dolls, wearable art, and other commercial or “low-brow” items.  

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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