Misaki Kawai | Love from Mt. Pom Pom | Paddle8 | Children’s Museum of the Arts

The childlike work of Japanese artist Misaki Kawai shuns expertise, embracing “heta-uma”, an anime-derived method that risks amateur aesthetics and embraces basic expression | The Children’s Museum of the Arts (CMA) is proud to present an interdisciplinary art exhibition of new work by the internationally recognized Japanese artist Misaki Kawai, entitled Love from Mt. Pom Pom. Utilizing painting, drawing, sculpture, installation, artist books and zines, as well as animation and video, Misaki will transform CMA’s gallery into an imagined world named ‘Mt. Pom Pom’, where giant fuzzy animals and other colorful characters run wild.

CMA is committed to celebrating the artist in every child and we are especially pleased to find friends who feel the same | In her work, Misaki encourages both adults and young people to make art by emphasizing that the most important thing for an artist is not their ability to draw technically well, but their ability to trust their instincts | This ethos stems from Misaki’s own approach to art making, which is connected to the concept of “heta-uma,” a Japanese manga style that is technically bad (i.e., naïve or amateurish) but produces a successful result through the artist’s intuitive powers of expression | The exhibit’s message, which aligns with CMA’s approach to art and art making, is that everyone can be an artist regardless of skill or technical ability | Furry animals, banana chairs and whimsical snake benches make up “Love from Mt. Pom Pom”, Kawai’s ongoing exhibition at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in NYC | In conjunction with the show, select furniture and decorative elements have just been made available for purchase from Paddle8 until 10th June 2012 | Kawai employs painting, drawing, sculpture and video in her site-specific show, bringing her signature playful stylings to the museum space | The exhibition functions as a play area for museum-goers, encouraging interactive engagement from children | As part of the CMA exhibition, Kawai was able to hold workshops with students, teaching them a bit of her artistic method – a process-focused, hands-on approach that develops artistic instinct rather than traditional skills | Highlights from the collection include an expandable, breast-themed “Bazoombas” bench and a less-than-terrifying green snake piece | Geometric colour blocks and bold forms are in keeping with Kawai’s other work, which walks the line between primitive abstractions and cartoon animation | The furniture, created by Brooklyn’s Tri-Lox in collaboration with Take Ninagawa Gallery in Japan, is available from the online art store Paddle8 through 10th June 2012, when both the sale and the exhibition at CMA will end | Proceeds from the sale go to benefit the CMA | Children’s Museum of the Arts, 103 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014 | You can also watch how the exhibition came together in this behind-the-scenes documentary…

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