Aya Sawada is a Japanese Spanish artist with a great passion for photography. In 2011 she began taking photographs and exploring her talent. She developed valuable photography skills such as lighting and technique at the Ebis Studio in Tokyo, Japan. This year her exhibition ‘The Absence of Me’ debuted at the MIA Anywhere Virtual Museum.
‘The Absence of Me’ is a photography exhibition by Aya Sawada, curated by Alejandra Rodríguez Cunchillos. In an intimate and feminine exhibition, Sawada opened her heart to show hidden emotions through her photographs that are presented as stories, beginning to end.
We asked the artist a series of questions about her art process, inspiration, upcoming projects and being a woman in the art world.
My art is an expression of my soul. It is something I like to do to organize my emotions and express my feelings. It is not much but it’s honest work.Sawada, on how she describes her art
Do you follow any particular process before creating?
I predominantly stumble upon ideas and then develop. I follow my intuition on what I feel naturally inspired and inclined to do.
Sometimes the aesthetic is constructed around the subject and she will inspire me to choose the color palette, places, lights, clothes… or I could have an insight about what I wanted to express and look for the elements.
I don’t follow any particular method. The process is always fluid and dynamic. Each time is different.
God’s nature.On biggest source of inspiration.
Do you feel like you need to push personal boundaries to create art? If so, what are they?
Yes I do.
Part of what I have made come to understand has to do with what’s happening within me. A sense of reflection and reconsideration.
In some way, along with the new comes a return as well, so when I create I’m constantly breaking from the past and pushing boundaries to get to the other side, where there’s freedom and connection.The ego boundary is the most significant to consider.
Making my darkness conscious is like owning my hole self. Society can collectively deny these parts of ourselves. But we need to understand that dark and light are the two faces of the same one thing. We play the part we think that we are supposed to be playing, a character we think society wants us to be. But if we deny aspects of our true selves then we end up losing who we are. By trying to fit into the character we think we have to be, we become more isolated from our true self.
How does it feel to be a female in the art world? Do you face any particular difficulties because of it?
I am aware that the art world is not one of gender equality. Art’s gender imbalance affects way we see the world and for this reason I think it’s critical at this point to give voice to women artist around the world. The potential of humanity is very limited by these imbalance.
On the other hand, I feel very grateful to be a female in the world and to be able to explore my creativity as a woman. We have the capacity to give life . Creativity is a female energy and it’s the most powerful. If we collectively embrace this connection with nature we can bring profound change. I’m sure that we will see the balance shift. It’s just a matter of time.
Can you tell us about your experience with MIA Art Collection? What were your feelings about the virtual museum?
I am very grateful to have this opportunity. MIA Art collection it’s an amazing platform giving voice and global visibility to many women artists with so much potential and supporting the work of emerging artists like myself. The virtual museum is super cool. Imagining my work in such a large formats it’s an experience I really appreciate.
My current exhibition titled ‘The Absence of Me’ is a summary of the creative and personal process of the last decade. To be able to release this artistic and vital stage in such a beautiful way its just perfect to me and for that I am very thankful to MIA Art Collection.
Does this new technological era impact the decisions that you make as an artist? What is your stance about this newly digitalized field?
At the moment, I don’t find any difference in the decisions I make as an artist… my first experience with the virtual museum is being very positive. I think it’s great that I can put my art out there and it can reach so many people very easily.
Technology has given more people access to the arts. It is also transforming the art world and its perception. Because art has the power to define and reshape the world we live in, any aspect of it that adds up light and inspiration to humanity feels very positive to me.
If a piece of art inspires us touches us or unify us it really is not important how it materializes.