David Krut Projects Cape Town (DKCT) is pleased to present Asuka Nirasawa’s residency showcase Multifinity, a series of mixed media work on paper and canvas, and an installation piece created during a month long residency at DKCT.
The exhibition will run from 30 May – 30 June 2017 at the Montebello Design Centre (MDC).
In August 2016 whilst in residency at the BAG Factory in Fordsburg, Johannesburg, Nirasawa began working with Southern and East African textiles such as Shwe-shwe, Kanga and Kitenge in her artistic practice. Nirasawa was inspired by the vivid colour compositions in many of the textiles she explored and the contrast between the straight lines and areas of what the she phrases as, “quiet immobility”.
The artist is intrigued by the versatility implicit in fabrics. Nirasawa finds the fabrics to have a practical and emotive quality that can be used to transform our daily lives either through interior decoration or through fashionable design in clothes. Textiles have the ability to reflect the emotional experience in our daily lives thus providing a medium for creative artistic freedom. Nirasawa’s works are filled with energy and metaphors, every element replete with meaning. Her paintings, mixed media and installation works offer glimpses of a vivid imagination, one that is innocent and yet sometimes grotesque and radical, living in chaos harbouring an alluring story waiting to be told.
Through using fabric in artistic production, Nirasawa has the ability to reflect diversity within culture, with the name Shwe-Shwe being derived from that of King Moeshoeshoe I of Lesotho. Further to this, Nirasawa is creating what she terms a chaotic universe, which represents the adoration of life and death within an aspirational dream scene of the universe she seeks. This concept is particularly inspired by living in India for a year. The artist reflects on this experience articulating that, “the great weight of five thousand years of history showed me human dignity, spellbinding beauty, religion and poverty.”
These are issues that she found to be surprisingly universal. Nirasawa has created this concept through the use of circular shapes. For the artist, the use of multiple circles acts as a metaphor for the universe, cells and eternal life. They also inspire the cycle of life and death that arises from the notion of reincarnation, in which after death the cycle of life repeats. Added to her use of circular fabric collages, Nirasawa meticulously applies circular dots onto the surface of her creations resulting in a series of organic domes, adding to the circular metaphor. It is through these circular fabric collages and installation- created in her residency that Nirasawa constructed this ‘chaotic universe’, evolving into an eternity of repetitive cells.