Next Saturday, Japanese artist Ozabu will be exhibiting her latest body of work at Thinkspace Gallery in the project room. Ozabu’s graphite drawings are highly rendered with subtle line work leaving a weightless ghost on the paper. Our interview with Ozabu for 彷徨 (Wander) is slightly edited to compensate for the language barrier but gives insight into her self-taught discipline and if she drinks coffee or tea.
SH: As a self-taught artist, what motivated you to pursue a life in the arts and what books or techniques did you study to develop your own artistic style?
OZ: My parents are a big influence and introduce me to art. They like drawing and love art, so we’d often go to museums and draw together at the park when I was a child. But as I grew older, I became less interested in drawing. Then about 5 years ago, I suddenly was inspired to try drawing again and realized I did not have the skill to draw as I wish I could. So, I decided to start again from that point on. I’m attracted to the profundity express in graphite and now here I am.
I didn’t use any reference books to learn drawing. I’ve never researched what kind of techniques or tools other artist use. I would just see a piece in person and then analyze it, teaching myself the technique and trying out different tools until I understand how the piece was created myself.
SH: What is the inspiration or theme behind this latest body of work?
OZ: I’ve always pulled inspiration from the things that I’ve felt and my experience with a bit of Japanese extract. I experienced the death of an important person in my life around the time I started working on this show. So the pieces in the exhibition include funeral and parting scenes. I felt that the more I drew, that dark place within myself is what was brought up when drawing those pieces.
SH: Many of your pieces involve birds or feathers the elements adding movement and dimension to the work. Are the birds and feathers also symbolic?
OZ: Yes. They possess something that I don’t have. I don’t know why, but they’ve always fascinated me very much.
SH: What are your favorite tools to work with?
OZ: Mechanical pencil and pencil of Staedtler and Pentel
SH: What is a common mistake people make with drawing?
OZ: That they don’t put their emotions into the drawing.
SH: When not working on art, what captures your attention and takes up your time?
OZ: Walking around places full of nature
SH: Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
OZ: coffee, of course!
SH: Who are a few of your favorite artists right now?
OZ: Esao Andrews,Dan Quintana,Ito Jakuchu,James Jean,Jessica Joslin,Katsuya Terada, Kikyz1313, Kent Williams ,Gakkin, Fuyuko Matsui, Vania Zouravliov and more!
SH: Are you left or right handed?
OZ: Left handed but pencil is right
The opening reception of Obazu’s 彷徨 (Wander) is Saturday, September 17th from 6pm to 9pm. Please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website for more information.