About the Book
Pictures don’t capture the depth and subtly of Kanako Togawa’s new work in glass.
Using inks and oils the artist renders delicate tableaus on sheets of cast glass imbuing the pieces with a preternatural gravity. Her softly executed birds and moths float in murky atmospheres and her dark lush landscapes merge into inky ambience. In two of the new works Togawa continues to apply a visual strategy she has tried before; juxtaposing a scene applied to the front and back surface of her flat glass with a 3 dimensional depiction in cast glass of glistening wet leaves and fruits.
The artist has remarked that she is channeling the transformative essence of nature in her depictions of flowers and fauna from her native Japan. Indeed, the objects themselves radiate a kind of zen quiet that borders on the spiritual.
Kanako Togawa was born and grew up in Osaka, Japan. She attended Osaka University of Arts where she studied glass making with Hiroshi Yamano and Etsuko Nishi. In between earning her BFA and MFA in Osaka Kanako spent a year studying with Michael Rogers at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
The artist finds inspiration in nature, music, architecture, furniture design and fashion. Two Japanese artists, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Hiroshi Senju, have particularly influenced her work. Suigimoto’s photographs share a delicate use of light and a dreamy atmosphere with Togawa’s softly rendered tableaus of birds and moths wheeling across overcast skies. Senju, who paints in a classic Japanese landscape style that brings bold texture and gesture to traditional motifs is a clear influence on Togawa’s pictoral style which flirts with traditional representations of flora and fauna. The artist also expresses her admiration for the work and career of Karen LaMonte who is uncompromising in her commitment to bringing a feminine voice to monumental figurative sculpture and whose studio practice is exemplary for any aspiring artist.