NEW WAVE – TARGET FOREVER II | 33230, 2020–2021
oil stained wood and paper mosaic painting, acrylic, washi (japanese paper)
40″h x 60″w

Naoko Morisawa’s exhibition, Happy Dreamer, is currently on display at the Traver Gallery in Seattle. Morisawa’s work is a combination of material (e.g., corrugated cardboard, oil-dyed wood) with dynamic color patterns and bold textures that contribute to her nontraditional compositions. Her abstract work is intriguing and almost mystifying, in a way; when you are up-close, you see the thousands of pristinely cut cardboard and wood pieces, but her focus is on the image from afar where the color and details mesh into what almost looks like an acrylic painting.  

Morisawa was born in Tokyo, Japan where her nontraditional artwork could be considered controversial because of her mix of mediums that she uses to form her abstract compositions. She studied at Tama Art University in Japan and has a background in Japanese marquetry: creating images using slivers of wood. She moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2004, displaying her work throughout the country as well as in museums around the world. 

The abstractness of her work is representative of the complexity of emotions and phenomena that cannot be explain exclusively though concrete images or language. Her use of color and texture and shadows all work together, nearly hypnotizing you as you focus on her image. The natural textures and imperfections of the wood she uses is integral to Morisawa’s compositions and contributes to the sense of improvisation of her work. 

As someone who doesn’t consider herself to be an expert on art, I was entranced by Morisawa’s pieces. Throughout her collection, you can see how her use of color changes and evolves as the years pass in her difference compositions. Some of the pieces have a vague image such as clouds or flowers that you can point to, while others are entirely up to interpretation. Nonetheless, the abstractness of her exhibition is natural throughout her pieces, being an accentuating feature of some while being the focus for most. 

Happy Dreamer is currently at the Traver Gallery, 110 Union St #200 Seattle, WA 98101 until Saturday, July 2nd. They are open Tuesdays—Fridays: 10am—6pm, Saturdays: 10am—5pm, and by appointment. 

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