Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka
Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka is a Japanese-Canadian artist based in Toronto. Her practice brings together historical craft technologies of her heritage including ink, natural dye, printmaking and papermaking to create her distinct visual vernacular. Her work is experience based research which includes a foundation in long-term community-engaged projects with collaborators in the high Arctic as well as recent collaborative performances that integrate and reinterpret kamiko, garments sewn out of washi, Japanese paper.
She carries forward the beauty of environmentally sustainable traditions, to explore the possibilities of their application into the future. Her approach to wearable sculpture removes the boundaries between craft, fashion and art. Hatanaka’s intentional choice of materiality supports the concepts embedded in her work which includes interconnectedness and impacts of globalization on communities integrally grounded in specific lands; collapsing time to layer ancestry and past versions of self; and the relationship between protection and courage.
Hatanaka has exhibited her work at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, CA), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, CA), the British Museum and Canada House (London, UK), The Toronto Biennial of Art (Toronto, CA) the Guanlan International Printmaking Base (Shenzhen, China), the Nikkei National Museum (Burnaby, CA) and Harper’s (New York, USA), and forthcoming at the Ino Cho Paper Museum. Hatanaka is represented by Patel Brown Gallery in Toronto, Canada.