Born in Tokyo, Kay Watanabe is a Brisbane based visual artist working primarily in printmaking. She chose to diverge from her usual practice and exhibit four of her three-dimensional works as part of the Autumn Plinth Exhibition.
Kay is fascinated by the interaction between curators and her works, describing herself as curious about seeing different interpretations and exhibition choices. “I have my own idea about how I want to exhibit my own works, and often the way they install is different from mine,” she says, “I am interested in how curators, who are the first audience of the show, see my works. Do you like them?” Kay is also pleased to be part of the Autumn Plinth exhibition: “…four of my works are sitting beautifully together on a plinth and I am very happy about it. Thank you, Flying Arts!”
2018 is a busy and exciting year already for Kay, who has been showing her work in exhibitions, preparing for shows and competitions to be held later this year, as well as teaching printmaking classes and participating in events. She was honoured to be awarded second prize in the “Abstract” show held by Royal Queensland Art Society earlier this year, and loved being an artist in residence and holding an open workshop during Brisbane City Council’s BrisAsia in February. Kay also enjoyed showing a printmaking demo at Kisaragi-sai Japanese Festival (also organised by Brisbane City Council as part of BrisAsia). She has just had a stall at Museum of Brisbane’s BNE Design market as part of a small artists’ collective and offered workshops at the museum, which she describes as “a lot of fun”. Kay is excited about further upcoming teaching opportunities in May.
Hard working Kay has quite a few exhibitions coming up. Currently about 15 or so of her prints are on show at Northside Holy Spirit Hospital in Chermside as part of its “Outside In” program. The exhibition will continue till 25 May, with all works on sale. Kay’s print “River” has been selected for Rotary Art Spectacular (14 – 18 May at Central Plaza 1 in Brisbane CBD). Her artist book “Memory of Opalescent Dreams III” has been selected for showing at 2018 Libris Awards in ArtSpace Mackay (26 May – 19 August). In July, Kay will have a solo show at Art For Thought in Ginza, Tokyo (6 -14 July) to show her newest original prints. “If you have a plan to travel to Tokyo, please drop in and say hi!” she invites. Back in Brisbane in late July, Kay will participate in the printmaking group show organised by Aspire Gallery in Paddington. “I’ve recently submitted to some art awards so let’s hope that I will be selected as a finalist (and a winner maybe!?!?) there as well,” she adds.
Kay’s busy year continues with workshops in between shows. She will have a collagraph workshop on 5-6 May at Brisbane Institute of Art (BIA) and a chine colle workshop on 19 May at Impress Printmakers Studio and Gallery in Brisbane. “These are for artists and printmakers,” Kay explains, “but I will also have some fun and short workshops in Brisbane.” She has also been invited to run a workshop at the Australian Print Triennial in Victoria in early November, and looks forward to teaching there as well as meeting and learning from printmakers from different parts of Australia.
A long time friend and collaborator, Kay is no stranger to Flying Arts – “Thank you so much for always supporting and encouraging me.”
Sakura & Zen will be on display at the Judith Wright Centre until 25 May 2018 Flying Arts Featured Artists – Autumn Exhibition
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Kay Watanabe is a Brisbane based visual artist whose main medium is printmaking, but who has recently diversified into painting, drawing and sculpture. Born in Japan, Kay holds Bachelors of Art degree in liberal arts (majoring in communication) and has studied printmaking in Tokyo, London and Sydney.
Kay attends and facilitates workshops as part of her professional development; her exploration into new techniques has led her to diversify into 3D works and other activities. Kay is a permanent resident of Australia.