If extremes mark the outermost bounds, then the space within consists of everything we may know. My work focuses on the forms that emerge and dissipate in this intermediate space. I study the lifespan of stones, teacups, traffic jams, forests, Super Bowls, storms, and guerrilla wars. With all things being ephemeral, my work is an awareness of my own lifespan. 

At what stage does a mountain turn into a hill, a mound, then a pile of sand? When does a flame become a fire? Where does the old city end and the new city begin?  Amid the coming and going of things, I find it difficult to know one thing from the next.

Being bilingual, I am aware the answers to these questions can lean in different ways at different times for language itself can radically alter perception. One nation sees and appreciates by sunlight while the other by twilight. This fragmentation was something I struggled with early in life but now know to work in interesting ways. I am able to change the quality of things by switching between languages—colors bend, impressions shift, and time signatures of people, things, and situations fluctuate.

My work has enabled me to realize that words were never a surefooted way of understanding myself, others, and my surroundings. They are weak lassos around a world in constant change. The edges of things are temporary outlines as contours form where forces meet, shifting and advancing in endurance. Stillness is filled with the noise of unseen forces perpetuating things in constant motion. What was yesterday is not today nor will it be tomorrow. This ceaseless state of change, the resulting flux of movement, and the denial of static forms and meanings are the main tenets of my work. 

I strive to capture this living mass’ temporal nature not through a single image or isolated sequence, but through scales and perspectives. Hence, the serial nature of my drawings. Within each series, I observe the similarities and variations between each piece and try to understand its logic. Only then can I begin to appreciate its underlying structure, syntax, and rhythm. 

I work with animation to understand how things are organiz-ing rather than what is being organized. This time-based yet painterly medium is most sympathetic to studying the language of movement. How does movement tell us about the nature of things? Does movement hint at what lies dormant and what is about to wake? This work is detail oriented in paying close attention to misalignments, synchronization, hiccups, and yawns. It is concerned with worn edges, missing petals, discrepancies in size, and the waning pitch of a roaring crowd. Yet, it is also an attempt at seeing a broader essence. What keeps the overall form together and what is its temperament? When the rhythm changes how does its posture shift? 

Life’s living mass is continually adapting, striving to equalize all things lacking. We feel there is something more to be seen, more to be heard. Despite what cannot be kept, we are always wanting. Remembering that we come from the same materials, fused and dispersed by the same forces, comfort may be found in that energy is never lost. Life’s ultimate windfall is its impossible quest for resolution. For once all desires are quenched, there would be no more life. 

Masako Miyazaki

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