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Kanako Namura was born in Japan and received her MFA from San Francisco State University. She moved to Mexico City in 2011 and on her first Christmas Eve encountered confetti. She became infatuated with the material for its simplistic charm and for what it symbolized. The colorful specks of recycled paper represent festivity and bursts of liberation. She also believes that the temporary and transient nature of this material heightens its beauty much like cherry blossoms, treasured for that very same reason in Japan. It touches upon the aesthetic of fleeting moments and the impermanence of life. Her new series using watercolor tinted ice cubes, also address that same idea. She explores the transformative nature of water by first creating ice cubes. She then lets them melt and evaporate until what is left is a mark on paper, or rather a record of what it was. While colors play a significant role in the final mark–making, they add another level to the narrative by interacting with one another. Another element at play is that of control and letting go, which has been a prevalent theme throughout her artistic practice. She seeks constant clarity and order in her daily life. At the same time, she is equally drawn to counter forces that bring about obscurity. Through her art–making process, she strives to create an ideal balance between the two modes. In the ice cube pieces, she first works methodically by setting up a system, developed through much observation and trial and error. However, once she places the ice cube in its proper place, it is out of her control and up to happenstance as to what the outcome will be.
Initially coming from painting, Anna-Lena Sauer’s latest work increasingly focuses on the exploration of different kinds of material, ranging from natural and synthetic textiles to plastics and paint. In her abstract material paintings and sculptures the artist reutilizes every-day objects such as garments, fabric scraps, broken soccer balls, garden hoses and packaging materials. Liberated from their familiar context and included in a work of art, the found objects not only lose their original function but also cannot be clearly defined anymore. Sauer uses them as an artistic medium, a substitute for paint or clay to give texture and plasticity to her work. Of particular interest are the juxtaposition of contrasting materials and their different properties as well as the interaction of texture, color, line, shape and space as autonomous key elements. The experimentation with material reveals ongoing tensions between softness and rigidity, disclosure and concealment, tenseness and release. Sauer intends to activate seeing. The perception of her work is an engaging process challenging the observer’s attention and patience in times of rapid media consumption. She was born in Germany where she received a degree in Fine Arts at HBK Saar and now lives and works in San Francisco.