Japanese artist, Asuka Nirasawa, obtained her BA in Fine Arts at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where she majored in painting and printmaking. She has had numerous projects, group and solo shows in Japan and other countries such as India and South Africa. In 2015, she had a residency with Cape Town’s local Bag Factory, where she first was exposed and inspired by African fabrics.
Nirasawa’s travels have had a great influence on her practice stylistically. For Nirasawa, these Shwe-shwe, Kanga and Kitenge and other African fabrics serve as a metaphor for the universe, cells and eternal life due to their organic circular nature. This series represents her interest in the dichotomous relationships between chaos and silence, life and death; and how they come together forming an imaginary dream scape of the ‘universe’ she seeks. The use of cells as a foundation for this universe and life itself speaks to a number of metaphysical links between us and the cosmos.
Within these works the line of sight begins with an aggregation of small circles, translucent and swollen, like cells and stars, guided to a cluster of African colours vibrating with life. Just like outer space, full of accumulative swelling energy Nirasawa uses intense colours and circular form – creating technical connections that jump in front of our eyes and form life in multifaceted ways.