Japanese artist Misaki Kawai‘s paintings and installations make me smile. Her faux- naif style – an aesthetic called ‘heta-uma’, a Japanese term that Kawai translates as ‘bad technique, good sense’ – the use of pop references, big, bold and colourful images, it’s childhood playfulness and sheer joyful abandonment is infectious.
Her mothers love of making puppets and the fact that she grew up in Osaka, the centre of the Japanese comedy industry, are influences she often cites in interviews but it was her travels in Turkey, Nepal and Thailand that left her ‘greatly influenced by handmade dolls, textiles and low-quality manufactured objects’. I don’t have much else to say about her work. It’s there, open for all to see. It speaks for itself, its absurd, it revels in play. I love it. It has brightened my day.
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