Kohei Nawa

I went back down the rabbit hole after a homemade dinner tonight and stumbled upon Tokyo artists, Kohei Nawa. I forget how I found him but it was on someone’s Facebook tonight! I was drawn to his pieces for a few reasons – scale, material, shape.

The above is from his Scum series, which is mixed media but the shape itself is born out of polyurethane foam sprayed onto an existing frame. Nawa’s works all take specific items and then augment their surfaces somehow – foam is just one of his chosen methods but it’s the most visually appealing to me.

As you can tell from the pictures these pieces are quite large. I’m curious as to their weight and the difficulty with which they are created. I’ve never worked with this kind of foam so don’t have a lot of context regarding its density.

I like the above both for its title, “Black Yarn” and its technique – just glue from a glue gun. According to Kohei, “I draw on a wall directly using a glue-gun. As the bond melted and liquefied with heat gets cold, it becomes hard. The grains stand up and the lines hang down from the wall. The images are connected to each other and grow like an ivy. It is a picture and is also a sculpture.” I love that thought that it’s a picture and is also a sculpture – I feel as though that applies to a lot of works on this blog.

Another way that Kohei morphs the surface of elements is by adhering many clear glass beads. It takes a real-life object and makes it look pixelated in a way – he calls these PixCells. His process of time consuming, repetitive activities to make something look digital / technological is an interesting juxtaposition. I would have shared more pics but his site has small thumnails – I highly recommend taking a look for yourself though!


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