Exhibit inspired by water crisis around the world

Naoe Suzuki to show work at Kniznick Gallery

Naoe Suzuki submitted an exhibit proposal, mostly on a series that focused on a female tiger trainer, to the Kniznick Gallery in the Women’s Studies Research Center almost three years ago.

It was ultimately accepted, but long before that exhibit took shape, Suzuki’s mind had wandered to a new subject matter: water.

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Related events

Opening Reception

Jan. 26, 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Artist’s Slide Talk

Feb. 14, 12:30 p.m.

WSRC lecture hall

Screening of “Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict” with Program Director Cindy Cohen

Feb. 28, 12:30 p.m.

WSRC lecture hall

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The idea was already sprouting in her mind when Suzuki, who since that proposal has become Brandeis’ Peacebuilding and the Arts senior program coordinator, was invited for a residency last September at the Blue Mountain Center. There she created the series, “Blue,” which will be part of a revamped exhibit between Jan. 12 and March 2.

As an accomplished artist who has exhibited at the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Massachusetts, Denise Bibro Fine Art in New York and Sarah Doyle Gallery at Brown University, Suzuki had visited the Adirondack Mountains artists’ retreat previously and looked forward to what it offered – a serene location to work on her art away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Among its allures, she said, was the opportunity for a daily swim in the lake; it relaxed the mind and muscles after a long day in the studio.

“But it was September, and if you’re familiar with upstate New York, the temps go down to about 30 [degrees],” Suzuki says.

That didn’t stop her. She felt stiff after long hours of detailed work, and craved those daily, sometimes twice-daily swims. So she gave it a try.

“Because the water was so cold, it felt like a full body massage,” she says. “It was even more healing, cleansing, relaxing, and I started thinking about the horrible state of water worldwide.

“I started feeling like the lake was my home, and what if I were to lose it?” Suzuki says, lamenting the water crisis she says many are already facing.

So with mineral pigment, graphite and fine-tip pens, which she’d recently begun using, she set to work on 10-foot paper – too expansive for her to use in her home studio – and continued with her water-based theme. She felt a degree of freedom with the pens that she hadn’t previously, no longer sketching first and tracing onto her final medium, but doing what she termed “obsessive drawing” directly on the paper.

The water in her work is shown as contaminated with debris, organs, cells, bottles, antiquated machinery, and more.

Also on display will be works from her recent series “Intueri,” the Latin word for “to look inside,” in which the images begin with small likenesses of intestines or organs, which turn into microcosmic worlds.

While her experiences in the water in part inspired the exhibit, she says she doesn’t like to apply a message to her art, leaving it open-ended for the viewers.

“Everyone can see it differently,” she says.

Categories: Arts

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