The grandiose function of the landscape in art was once a space for the documentation of new and foreign terrain, as well as a complicated understanding of the relationship of self to the natural world.
In A Nervous Rock Standing in the Sunset, Naomi Nakazato presents the construction of an in-between reality as landscapes in which she attempts to re-inscribe her half-white, half-Japanese identity, while visually translating the yearning for a simultaneously inherent and unfamiliar culture.
Relying on the negative space of the void as a potential location of synthesis, Nakazato’s landscapes utilize various modes of representation to reconcile the fraught relationship between the natural and the artificial, revering the often imperfect result. Rocks and branches, fragments of nature that represent the collection of experiences, are placed into compositions of ritualistic desire, not unlike the computer screen or Shinto shrine. Their pixels, fluorescence, and plastic materiality, manipulated by the artist’s hand, question the concept of the authentic and its relevance in the bi-racial narrative.
Nakazato’s in-between reality, laden with memory lapses, barriers, mistranslations, and symbols of loss, ultimately stands as a record of authenticity and the preservation of experience.
Naomi Nakazato (b. 1992, Arlington, VA) is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist, whose work is an exploration of the fragmentary nature of memory in regards to her bi-racial identity. She holds a BA from Anderson University, South Carolina, and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. She was awarded an inaugural Brandon Fellowship at the Greenville Center for the Creative Arts in Greenville, South Carolina in 2016, and was a summer 2017 resident at the Leipzig International Artists Program in Leipzig, Germany. She is the recipient of two Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grants.