Azusa Takahashi


朝月夜 (Asazukuyo)
Dawn after a moonlit night
Acrylic, oil, and metal leaf on canvas

My subjects and color themes are mainly of nature and the natural phenomena of Micronesia and the Pacific reflected through contemporary pop. I incorporate influences of historical Japanese art, such as ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), nihon-ga (painting style), fusuma-e (sliding door paintings, and byobu-e (folding screen paintings). This is part of a search for my own identity; I was born in Japan and raised in the United States and its territories, Guam and Hawai‘i, and I feel that myself is a combination of all of these places both culturally and aesthetically, which I wish to express through my work.

I have been doing a series of moonbows, which are rays of colors radiating from a full moon, a natural phenomenon often seen here in Hawai`i. The title, Asazukuyo (朝月夜), meaning “morning after a moonlit night”, is a time frame when the moon is left behind in the sky as the dawn breaks, and the morning arrives. This term first appears in the Man’yōshū (万葉集), the oldest extant collection of Japanese classical poetry dating back to 759 AD, which has influenced artists of historical masterpieces. I believe the feelings and impressions human beings conceive from viewing the sky at a certain time of the day are transcendent in both time and location.

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