Japanese Artist Shota Kawahara Takes on Chicago

By Paul Murray
 

Vagabond artist, Shota Kawahara, is currently flat out preparing for a show as resident artist at Re-Invent Gallery in Lake Forest, Chicago.

Graduate of the prestigious Kyoto University art faculty, nonconformist Japanese painter Kawahara has been travelling the world for the past seven years in search of inspiration, experience and knowledge all of which he includes in his abstract reflections of life on the road.  Like travel, art is a process of self-discovery for Kawahara, “By doing art we learn many different ways of seeing and thinking,” he said.

Kawahara met his current host and fellow artist Kristin Mikrut when both were resident artists at the LivinginPeace Project in Karamea on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. Mikrut returned to her home in Lake Forest north of Chicago to set up an art studio/gallery and workshop with friend Cecilia Lanyon and, recognising the depth of Kawahara’s talent, they invited him to be the first resident artist at Re-Invent.

Artists Kristin Mikrut and Shota Kawahara at Re-Invent Gallery in Lake Forest, Chicago.

Re-Invent Gallery Owners Cecilia Lanyon (left) and Kristin Mikrut

An exhibition showcasing Kawahara’s work will open at Re-Invent on August 17 and he is currently working on a raft of new material for the show. Artistic association with Mikrut has encouraged him to venture into new creative territory like installation art and sculpture and the exhibition will feature new artistic direction and style for Kawahara.

Artist Shota Kawahara at work at Re-Invent in Lake Forest Chicago

Nature is an inspiration for Kawahara and he attributes much of the content of his work to time spent in the great outdoors breathing with the natural environment, drawing in the shapes, patterns, textures and colours and recreating the organic forms on canvas.

Resident artist Shota Kawahara at work in the studio at Re-Invent

A Kawahara painting on any wall brings the joy of nature, environmental vibrancy and the wonder of life itself to a room…it elicits happiness, tranquility and harmony from the viewer. The paintings are quite busy, but interestingly, they are also rather calming as the abstract interpretations stimulate the mind and elicit introspection, imagination, bliss and serenity. “When we view the paintings, we feel something instantly, without reason,” he said, “We all have an aesthetic brain, the more we look at art, the more our brains expand.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Kawahara, painting is a cathartic and introspective process, “For me…art is similar to meditation, I feel disconnected from the outside world and art takes me to my inner world where I can focus my senses and feel more calm and at peace…I then explore myself, seeking answers and asking questions.”

“Inspiration” is the title of Kawahara’s upcoming show at Re-Invent and should you want some inspiration in your life, go and check out the show and purchase one of these original masterpieces from this upcoming artist, for it will inspire you and your family and everyone who visits your home.

Shota Kawahara Opening Exhibition
Friday, August 17th at 5:30 PM
Re-Invent
202 Wisconsin Ave. , Lake Forest, ILPh: 224.544.5961E-mail:  reinventlf@gmail.com

Shota’s Philosophy

YOU KNOW YOU ARE FREE

Walk into the forest, Sit down and rest.

Take off your shoes, Close your eyes.

Breathe deeply, Listen carefully.

Look at the trees, You know you are free.

 

Give others a smile, Share your dream.

Follow your passion, but not fashion.

You are the only one, not lonely one.

Let it be, You know you are free.

 

Play with kiddies, Talk with oldies.

Bake a chocolate cake, Take a coffee break.

Eat from the Earth, Have a fire bath.

Is there any hurry? You know you are free.

                             

Stare bonfire, Ashes fly higher.

Dance to the music, Believe in magic.

Let your imagination go, over the rainbow.

Jump into the sea, You know you are free.

 

Share what you have, Care who you love.

Bring your experience, with great patinece.

Keep the faith, Seek the truth.

Open with your key, You know you are free.

 

~Shota~

Shota’s Travels: 

21 June 2012 Lake Forest, Chicago, USA

20 November 2011 Osaka, Japan

 11 November 2011 Bondi, Australia “GARYU-Art and Dining-” OPEN

 24 August 2011 Sydney, Australia

 30 May 2011 Karamea, New Zealand

 04 March 2011 Sydney, Australia

 04  February 2011 West coast, New Zealand

 07 January 2011 Mexico City, Mexico

 20 December 2010 Montana, USA

 13 December 2010 New York, USA

 08 December 2010 Paris, France

 30 October 2010 “El Camino de Santiago”, Spain

From Logrono to Santiago de Compostela 600km walk

 09 October 2010 Birthday

 02 October 2010 Alicante, Spain

 29 September 2010 Barcelona, Spain

 21 September 2010 Thonon-les-bains, France

 15 September 2010 Amsterdam, Netherland

 04 September 2010 Prague, Czech Republic

 27 August 2010 Vienna, Austria

 25 August 2010 Munich, Germany

 20 July 2010 Geislingen, Germany

 04 July  2010 Würzburg, Germany

 28 June 2010  London, UK 

 24 June 2010   Liverpool, UK

17 June 2010 Weymouth Dorset, UK

 13 June 2010  London, UK

 3 June 2010 “Passport and Money has been stolen” 

 1 June 2010 “The Abbey”  Oxford, UK

 25 May 2010 London, UK   !!!Euro Tour Start!!!

 2006 – 2010 Travel around Australia and New Zealand

Shota at the LivinginPeace Project, Karamea, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand
http://www.livinginpeace.com

Shota in Germany

Shota in Germany II

Shota in Japan

Shota with his Chef Brother at his restaurant in Bondi, Sydney (Kawahara’s art adorns the walls of the restaurant)
Garyu Art and Dining: http://www.garyu.com.au/

Shota in France

Shota in Spain

Shota in England

Shota in Chicago

Shota in Chicago: Resident Artist at Re-Invent, 2012


Shota at Rongo Backpackers & Gallery in Karamea, New Zealand
http://www.rongobackpackers.com

About LivinginPeaceProject

Paul Murray is the founder of the LivinginPeace Project. www.livinginpeace.com Paul originally from Australia, but have been living in New Zealand for eight years. Before that he was in Japan for a decade working as a journalist. He met his wife Sanae in Japan and they married in 2008.
This entry was posted in Art, Business, Education, Japan, Karamea, LivinginPeace Project, New Zealand, Travel, Uncategorized, United States, West Coast and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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