LECTURE Akemi Nakano Cohn

by - Monday, April 29, 2013

Registration opens June 24th at 10am.

2013 Maiwa Textile Symposium
Lecture Journeys and Traces - Art and Life Through Katagami
Akemi Nakano Cohn

7:45 (Doors open at 7:30) $15.00
Tuesday October 15, 2013
Net Loft: Granville Is. Vancouver BC

At first there were shoji. The white, rice-paper room dividers. Akemi recalls growing up in a traditional Japanese family in Yokohama, Japan, where images were formed on the shoji as trees and birds cast their shadows on the white paper.

It was the beginning of her life in art.

For ten years Akemi studied Katazome – a traditional rice paste resist printing technique – under Master Haru Izumi. Then, in 1985, she emigrated to the United States. The cultural shift inspired new work and new ways of working. 

Always thoughtful and contemplative, Akemi has said, “When using katagami cut-out stencil paper, I remark on the empty shape left behind after cutting. This ‘negative space’ indicates the trace of its existence. Negative space is evidence of a memory. My work is an attempt to understand memory through this process and inner observation. I am interested in observing a condition of adaptation and memory among plants, animals, and humans in their environment.”

Like completing a circle, her art work has returned to the traditional Japanese Katazome that she learned in her early career.  She is returning to her origins, but with a richer, more mature vision.

Akemi has pursued an extensive series of international exhibitions and commissions. She is a master of the Nassen technique, which adds a dye to the rice paste to create both colour and resist simultaneously. She joins us from her home in Chicago.

You May Also Like


We moderate comments to keep posts on-topic, avoid spam, and inappropriate language. Comments should appear within 24 hours.