Artist Katerina Lanfranco and writer Elizabeth McKenzie will be giving a FREE talk about their work in art and literature this Saturday (June 19th) at Kyoto International Community House from 6pm. Katerina and Elizabeth are both Japan-U.S. Friendship Commision Creative Arts Fellows on a six month stay here in Kyoto. You can read more about their work below. Event details and directions are at the end of this post.
Katerina Lanfranco writes:
I make art as a way to think about and understand the world that I live in… Collecting, organizing and fragmenting images and objects from encounters with nature and everyday life are combined with my own vocabulary of visual elements… The three main conceptual strains that I explore are: metaphors of nature in relation to culture, cultural forms of framing and displaying nature, and how our concept of nature informs our construction of identity… By using subject matter such as landscape painting, natural history, natural disasters, fireworks, genetic engineering and biological structures, I hope to open a dialogue about culture’s relation to nature... (Read more here)
Katerina came to Japan to study isekatagami (paper cut-outs), ikebana (flower arranging) and ukiyo-e (a genre of woodblock prints). Since 2006, she has explored the use of paper cut-outs. Her interest in them stems from their physical directness, compositional detail and complexity. Likewise, in her works she often references floral motifs and plant forms, which she sees as having a similarity to ikebana: an art form that responds to the inherent beauty, symmetry and formal patterns found in plants. Her own paintings are in part also inspired by the ukiyo-e tradition… You can view her portfolio here.
Elizabeth McKenzie is the author of the acclaimed novels Stop That Girl and MacGregor Tells the World. She has come to Japan to complete work on her new novel, For the Benefit of Mr. Maru. In this novel, family history blends with fiction to relate the story of her grandmother’s involvement with the radiation victims of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki and the subsequent dissolution of her family. Elizabeth’s grandmother was a doctor who went to Nagasaki to study the effects of the bomb on children. About her grandmother Elizabeth writes:
“I have just begun to plumb the depths of the very strange person who was my grandmother… A grandmother for me is not a warm and cozy grey haired being but a prickly snarling ball of mania and misguided schemes. The kind of person whose acquaintances take you aside and whisper, Call me if you ever need to talk.”
Elizabeth will also interview contemporary Japanese writers little known outside of Japan for a forthcoming collection of translations. Read more at http://www.stopthatgirl.com
The presentations will be in English with a Japanese translation.
Date: Saturday June 19th
Location: Kyoto International Community House. KICH is a short walk from Keage station on the Tozai line. Click here for an access map and transport information. (TEL：075-752-3010)
Elizabeth will also be participating in the Four Stories event on June 27th in Osaka.