Izumi Miyazaki is a Pittsburgh/Japan based artist whose work is overwhelmingly figurative and often deals with their upbringing as a Japanese-American woman. She is most interested in acrylic and oil paintings, reimagining iconic works of art through her lens. 

Artist Statement

There is one Japanese word that drives my art practice -- sekaikan. Sekaikan literally translates to worldview but is understood by native speakers more as a sense or feeling of a distinct world that one has created, such as through fashion, music, art, etc. The goal of my art is to create interesting and beautiful work with sekaikan -- figures all invested in their own little world.

My art is mostly two-dimensional and showcases a heavy distortion of figures. I work with acrylic paint and oil paints that allow me to focus on creating a wide and busy range of colors in my pieces. I often use colors that clash together and are conventionally thought to be ‘ugly’ color pairings in order to make my piece interesting and help scatter the eye throughout the composition. The colors are meant to grab attention and add to the distorted cluster of figures that I typically create, making my pieces never have just a single focal point. I love coloring skin tones that are non-racial and even non-human. 

The content of my art is all highly personal. They are oftentimes about my family and the many struggles that they go through, but also about my relations with past partners and friends. It is also introspective in that I explore the way in which I feel about my self worth as an Asian woman having grown up in America. Although my art is personal and primarily for me to come to terms with my life, I also want the viewer to empathize with the mood that my figures visually project regardless of whether they know the exact meaning; whether that be melancholy, rage, deep thought, boredom, sadness, etc., I want my work to be relatable and engaging. 

Being Japanese-American, my first introduction to art was anime and manga with their highly unrealistic, dynamic figures. As I learned more about art history, however, I became more visually interested in Japanese woodblock prints and their use of flat color, bold lines, and carefully planned compositions. Nowadays, my favorite art influences and artists are Marc Chagall, Egon Schiele, and Enrico Robusti -- all artists who portray figures that seem to be in their own little world. 

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