Bio / Artist Statement
Born in Tokyo, Japan. She studied graphic design at Joshibi University of Art and Design in Tokyo. She came to US in 1986 to attend The University of the Arts in Philadelphia where she started learning woodworking. She received her MFA from Furniture Design Program at RISD. She has exhibited widely in the United States, in both galleries and museums. She currently lives and works in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her works are represented by Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Westport, Massachusetts and J. Willott Gallery, Palm Desert, California.
Play is always the central interest in my work. I create pieces with geometric forms, bright in color and movement. I like wood as my choice of material, and fondly remember colorful wood blocks in my childhood. The feel and the look of distressed wooden surfaces, with worn out edges & corners implies a certain degree of use and the touch of the hand, maybe a certain degree of love. I learned furniture design and wood working at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and the Rhode Island School of Design. My intent with these studies was to apply that knowledge and skill to make sculptural works that were strong enough for the viewers to touch. I did this for over twenty years, making painted wood objects for viewers to look at, but also ones they could move and activate.
Since 2012, I have been pushing my work towards a two-dimensional format, focusing on color and surface. My current works have qualities of both painting and sculpture. The ‘canvases’ are carefully aligned square wood bars place corner to corner and ordered in a square or rectangular plane. They are not intended to be touched, but there is a play in the work. This play is the changing view for the viewers, as they move from one side of the work to the other (right to left or left to right). - Emi Ozawa