Wednesday September 27, 2017 | by Annie Woller

Interview with Exhibiting Artist Michiko Sakano

Artist Michiko Sakano's upcoming exhibition GOOSE EGG opens in the Window Gallery of our Agnes Varis Art Center on Wednesday, October 11th. A Studio Resident at UrbanGlass this year, we checked in with Michiko about the show.

UrbanGlass: Tell us about the motivations behind this new body of work? 

Michiko Sakano: I have not made my work for over decade since my focus had been more about being a glass fabricator. It suits my personality. I have enjoyed process as well. One of the reasons I wanted to come back to make my works was to help my fabrication work. Without my aesthetic training, I would not be able to help my clients. I have learned how important to keep working on your art. I also have started missing making my works with my ideas. 

It was very difficult to start making works from scratch at the beginning. I would go to my studio in the evenings and weekends. Many weeks, I was doing "nothing" in my studio. I think I was catching up on watching YouTube videos . I was not inspired. The title of the show GOOSE EGG is from the idea of zeroness, to which goose egg refers. It is like starting from nothing. I have been so out of shape of making my own works.

Feeling uninspired, I went to see the Window Gallery. The Window Gallery has an interesting shape, like two triangles joint together. It is not a usual gallery space but it has beautiful window that cast interesting shadows all day. That was my first impression, and I was interested in using the strength of the space. 

UG: The work is made of many, many shades of white. What drew you to playing with this color, or absence of color?

MS: I started observing the space everyday. There were many shades of whites and grays created by shadow. That was my inspiration. I also have many occasions to work with whites through fabrication projects. I have experience of paying attention to effects of shades of whites.

Also, Agnes Martin is one of my favorite artists. The exhibition at Guggenheim Museum gave me a strong impression. It made me want to make something beautiful, something pretty. 

UG: From seeing you work in our studio, it seemed that you were exploring very traditional methods of glass making, alongside more experimental processes. What was the experience like to work in these totally different ways on the same body of work?

MS: This has been the most unique opportunity for me to work with more involved process of making glass. I started with the idea of using and working with the gallery space with shades of whites. As I keep working, the ideas evolve, so did the process. There were technical difficulties. As a glass maker, it gave me a joy to be challenged. It was a great experience to be able to digest and process the traditional glass making techniques. The journey continues, of course. 

Join us at the opening of GOOSE EGG on October 11th from 6-8pm to see the work and hear Michiko speak more about her work in a casual setting.