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Taro Takizawa

Artist Statement


My work engages in an intuitive practice, not just labor and execution, but a process of making patterns, by drawing, painting, carving, cutting, and printing. My brain is constantly spinning to make my next decision of how I want to move, looking for reactions between lines, ideas, and associations between the contemporary and personal history, perspective, thought, Japanese heritage and permanent memory.

The work is a tool to rediscovering the Japanese history and culture. I realized this after moving to the United States, where everyone asks me questions about where I came from. Since I didn’t pay much attention to my everyday life while in Japan, I had to do research about my own country, its culture and its history to show what Japan is like, from both historical and cultural viewpoints. What becomes evident in studying history is patterns. The patterns used in my work show the ripple, steam and flow of water which is important because Japan is surrounded by the ocean. I am influenced by Japanese art, especially the Japanese block prints (Ukiyo-e) from the 17th century through the 19th century; waves and rivers, how these waters are rendered fascinates me.

The way I create my work is I will try to transmit energy and emotion on to the surface, whether on a paper or a wall, by reacting and responding to the previous marks I’ve made on the surface which is usually cuts or carvings. I relate to the Zen priests practice to enhance their concentration by raking the gravel of the Zen gardens, there are similarities between my work. I find it exciting and beautiful the way I cut, carve, repeat lines pause and think for a moment, and repeat.

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