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Takahiro Iwasaki a master of his own craft, but most importantly a creator of his own imagination. Using only cloth fibres, dust and human hair, Iwasaki creates elaborate yet intriguing landscapes of towers, ferris wheels and cranes etc sprouting on undulating layers of Japanese kimonos. Geologically complex and dream-like, these once minuscule and seemingly insignificant materials gets a warm welcome by Alice in the Wonderland.

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Titled “In Focus,” Iwasaki’s exhibition comprises “a delicate and fanciful landscape made of fibers from recycled Japanese kimonos,” says curator Michelle Yun. The piece, set in 6 plexiglas boxes, was inspired by the 17th C. “Flowers and Grasses of the Four Seasons” and are displayed at angles similar to the folding screens.

The screens feature nameless field grasses depicted with such grace, elegance, and care that [they] honor even these most mundane of plants. Just as the artist of the screens did, I would like to revisit a commonplace everyday scene from today’s Japan, and just as the screens embody a smooth flow from one season to the next, I hope to capture, in my work, the graceful transition of a Japanese landscape from the past to the present. – Takahiro Iwasaki

Iwasaki was apparently moved by a well-known story about Sesshu (1333 – 1573), a celebrated Japanese ink painter. As legend goes, young Sesshu was studying to become a Zen monk. One day his master punishes him for ignoring his training and, instead, being preoccupied with painting. He ties Sesshu to a pillar but when he comes back to check on him he finds a large mouse at Sesshu’s feet. Afraid that Sesshu will be bitten, the priest runs over to shoo the mouse away. But when he arrives he’s astounded to find that it’s a unbelievably realistic painting drawn by Sesshu using his toe as brush and tears as paint. From that day on Sesshu is never discouraged to paint ever again.

Takahiro Iwasaki also created Coney Island in 2012 from beach towels. 

His take on landscapes and imagery has shown both fragility and power. An extension of one’s memories and mind is taken upon minuscule materials that bears so much significance to one.

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