ART 110: WEEK 9: ARTIST INTERVIEW: LESLEY NISHIGAWARA

For this week’s artist interview, I was able to meet and talk with artist Lesley Nishigawara in the Dutzi Gallery. Although Nishigawara wasn’t the only art it in this gallery, her images were what captivated me into interviewing her; the way her strings intertwined and sheer paper (I believe that was used in the far left piece, please correct me if I’m wrong) floated were truly memorizing and her sue of leading lines was nothing but captivating.

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Lesley Nishigawara is a graduate student, not from Long Beach State, attending for her master’s degree in textiles (which she currently has her undergrad in). Nishigawara had decided to recently pursue her master’s due to ‘the timing being right” and Long Beach State being one of the few schools that offer a fiber program to utilized (this show was actually an advancement show for her that will help towards her thesis). When asked when she began to pursue art, Nishigawara told us that she comes from an artistic family as well: her mother was a graphic designer and her older sister and twin sister both have degrees in art. She also said she did a lot of art in high school, suggesting that this was around the time she began to pursue it to a higher level.

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Within the gallery, one can clearly see the time and dedication Nishigawara put into her work. One work that consisted of various strings intertwining and overlapping had been worked on for various months and even took her 10+ hours to install into the gallery. “Time is the hardest [aspect].” says Nishigawara. Not only does she have to make sure that the piece is proportional to her suiting but there are also multiple other variables put into play, such as: measurements and alignments of the piece.

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Another important aspect to Nishigawara’s pieces would be that of the fabric and dye she uses. According to her, it brings about more of a visual effect on the people viewing her pieces. Due to this, Nishigawara always experiments before she does the actual piece– she likes to plan out whatever she is making as she goes along rather than “going with the flow” (as I tend to do with my photography). I also found it interesting that the materials that she uses are all organic and people friendly– unlike some materials others use (tend to harm themselves more than others, however). As for inspiration, Nishigawara says she usually finds herself looking at not-fully-constructed buildings. She liked the skeletons of the buildings, that being the structural and electrical details that make up the inner part of the building before it’s finished.

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The main concept behind Nishigawara’s work would be that of revealing information “through systems and resulting patterns they create”. To me, this seems to mean, or symbolize, that there’s always something deeper to whatever it is you’re looking at. Like the buildings Nishigawara uses, there’s more to the plaster and brick on the inside, there’s a full system of beautiful interlocking mechanisms that keeps the building standing/ functioning and we’re all taking them for granted

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All-in-all, I truly liked Nishigawara’s gallery and I completely applaud her for all the time and effort she put into each piece. I cannot fathom how dedicated she must have been to do such, but it is utterly amazing. I would recommend this gallery to anybody and everybody, no doubt in my mind.

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(Nishigawara preferred to have pictures of her art and not her– I respect that and therefore do not have a picture of her to post).

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