To embrace your work and truly be yourself is a skill. A skill that takes years to master, an ability that Nanami Nanasawa achieved. Through her first overseas exhibition at XY Hotel Bugis, it was evident that Nanasawa-San is more than an artist. She is an inspiration to all. The moment I saw her, her demeanour drew me in. Despite the language barriers, she still has a bright and gleaming aura around her as she spoke. The air of confidence that shouts, “This is what I do. Accept it.”
When the music started, so did Nanasawa-San. The performance launched with black Sumi Ink splattered all over the canvas while synchronising her body with the melody. Alternating between natural elements and calligraphy brushes, she shined a new light to traditional calligraphy.
Elongating her legs, Nanasawa-San turned the live inking session into an adventure. An adventure that drew me into her universe. Every stroke that she made portrayed a unique new element that felt different every time. It felt as though my understanding of the planet was changing right before my eyes. Never in my life have I seen calligraphy being portrayed in such a contemporary manner. To incorporate various natural elements from dried flowers to rose petals was such a risky decision to take. However, Nanasawa-San executed it perfectly.
As the tempo of the music change, so does her movements. The artist quickly switched from black paint to red paint and even yellow paint at a point of time. It was evident that she was depicting the emotions that she felt through her near-death experience in her 30s. A tragic experience that made her decide to devote her life to calligraphy.
Soon, the rhythm shimmered down. She ended off her story by swiftly writing the word, “Harmony” in Japanese in the middle of the canvas. At that moment it all made sense. To harmonise between nature, calligraphy and colour, a technique no other artists could mimic.
I left the place feeling inspired. The world Nanasawa-San unfold to us not only conveyed her story but it inspires me to not be afraid to think out of the box. Additionally, it pushes me to be the best version of myself that I can achieve.