During her time at university, Nagasawa recalled her childhood play with newspaper and started to incorporate it in her art to communicate the properties of the material to others. Though she finds newspaper fascinating as a physical medium, she soon realized that viewers of her works could not shed their preconceived notions of the meaning of “newspaper” as a vehicle for information and societal structure. She laments that, although she was more concerned with highlighting the material and exploring her own inner world, “[her] work was interpreted in the context of journalism, and people assumed [she] wanted to highlight catastrophes and injustices.”
Through the reactions of others to her work, Nagasawa has come to realize that we unconditionally attach meanings and purpose for the objects around us. Her desire to shine the spotlight on the physical substance of these mundane objects gave rise to the “paradigm” series. She releases materials from their premeditated existence, breaking the paradigm to create artworks that suggest new ways of seeing the world. For this exhibition, Nagasawa has chosen pillow beads as her medium. The small styrene balls are normally hidden inside cushions, outside of our sight, and indeed, mind. By bringing to light things that are hidden, surprising avenues of expression emerge.
Through the process of creating and feedback of others, Nagasawa has also made the astute observation that we all sense the world in slightly different ways. In aesthetics and philosophy, the inner senses and perceptions, which arise in the mind of an individual, are referred to as ‘qualia’. For example, when asked to imagine ‘the redness of an apple’, each person will conjure in their mind a red apple, but this apple is bound to be slightly different from person to person. For Nagasawa, the fact that, ultimately, information cannot be accurately shared between the minds of one another is fascinating, and yet she muses that there is also some sadness in this reality.
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