Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Kaori Takamura. I am a visual artist. I am originally from Tokyo, Japan and now I live and work in Carefree, AZ.
I was a graphic designer for many years specializing in branding and packaging design. During my practice, I created many graphic symbols for brands or corporations and this experience heavily influenced what I am doing now.
My work is focused on graphical media painting combined with a hint of hand crafting. I paint on canvas or cut out pieces of wood either by hand or by laser then I stitch them together. I sketch on the computer working on technical drawings prior to painting and I believe that this process is a bit different from how most traditional painters work.
How did you get your start?
I took a painting class at community college about 15 years ago just to learn the basics of painting since my education was mainly based on the graphic arts.
After I painted my first piece in this traditional oil painting class, I took it home and was suddenly compelled to apply stitching on the painted canvas with my sewing machine and brought it back to class. I felt that stitching could also be a part of my expression just like brush strokes.
Everyone was shocked about what I did but my instructor back then suggested that I take art seriously as my career. So I did and I have never looked back.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by artisans as a metaphor and I am interested in how artisans are influencing our culture by sending messages as a symbols in our everyday lifestyle.
Also, in my artwork I find influences from some of the Japanese graphic designers such as Ikko Tanaka who created Japanese modernism principles in the 80s. I am still a fan of their minimalistic yet bold approach.
What do you like about AZ?
I like the winter in Arizona. In terms of the art scene, I like the size of Arizona art community.
Where can we see you(r) work?
I am currently showing some of my paintings at Phoenix International Airport Terminal 4 until October 8th 2017. It is a curated group exhibition called Drawn to Pattern.
Locally in Arizona, I am represented by Gebert Contemporary. I am going to have my solo exhibition in February 2018.
What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I always feel a slight gap between what I’d like to express through my art ( I guess you would call it “vision”) and what I am actually creating. I think this is because I am still in the process of searching it out and I’m trying to figure out how to achieve it. I believe that this is a dilemma that all artist’s have to go through.
Before I die, it will be wonderful if I can create things that match exactly what I visualize in my mind to my full satisfaction.
What is your mantra?
In terms of my art, my mantra is,
“Stitch-by-stitch I will express the tangled thoughts of our everyday lives.”
For more Kaori Takamura, visit her website.