Morisawa combines disparate and incongruous materials to form beautiful and disorienting designs that reflect a series of visual paradoxes in her mosaic-like work. Although she has done representational images in the past, Naoko’s current work is focused almost exclusively on abstraction. For her, these abstract compositions are a visual representation of feelings that cannot be adequately expressed through language or traditional figuration.
Morisawa’s methodology for creating boldly colored mosaic paintings is both highly technical and entirely intuitive, layering thousands of meticulously cut and oil-stained wood and paper pieces to create dynamic textures, shadows, color fields, and patterns. With a background in traditional Japanese marquetry (or intarsia) – a technique in which images are created using carefully cut and glued slivers of wood – Morisawa sees the natural textures and patterns of the wood grain and paper fibers as fundamental elements in her pieces. Naoko makes art that is natural, playful and lifts people’s spirits. She also wants her artwork to be about herself, like a diary. Each piece is created with the care one would use writing a letter to a loved one or friend. Bright, fun, and unusual subjects attract and inspire Morisawa to work in new directions.
Naoko Morisawa was born in Tokyo, Japan, and studied art at Japan’s Tama Art University. She has worked as a commercial product designer for Godiva Chocolate and Twining Tea and taught art classes in Tokyo, Yokohama, and the Canadian Embassy before moving to the USA in 2004. She has exhibited her work in more than 30 states across the US, in Japanese museums, the Dublin Biennale, National Weather Center Biennale, Bellingham National at Whatcom Museum, and Tokyo Art Olympia Biennale at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in Japan. Her artwork is included in the Permanent Collections of City of Seattle, City of Portland, City of Bellevue, Kent and Shoreline, Seattle Public Utilities, and Seattle International Airport. Her studio public art exhibitions / installations have been selected by The Metro, City of Seattle, Seattle Center, Washington Convention Center, Macy’s Seattle, Seattle Children Hospital, Seattle Salmon Bay Park, Lake Sammamish State Park, Amazon, Nordstrom Inc. General Electric HQ Exhibition, and Facebook- Meta (TBC).