My work explores a number of different themes. I have been interested in science/medicine, technology, gender and cultural identity, and abnormal anatomy. I work in series most of the time, and collect images and articles from a vast array of interests including medical illustration and sideshow people. “Perfectly Cheerful” was derived from my fascination with conjoined twins and the research I’ve done on history of conjoined twins. My current project, “BLUE” is inspired by water both as healing energy and damaged natural resource that has been exploited and contaminated.
Mineral pigments that I use (both gansai and iwaenogu) are from Japan, and I usually use tiny brushes to paint on the surface of papers. Gansai utilizes a special mixture of pure pigment made from pulverized mineral stones and adhesive to bind the color to the painting surface, and works just like Western watercolor, while iwaenogu are traditional pigments that come as powder grounded from natural minerals. Colors are categorized based on the particle sizes, and they require further grinding into finer particles before binding with a special glue (nikawa) to be used for painting. I like using mineral pigment for its saturated colors and delicate quality. Combining with ink, granite and other mediums, I like seeing unfamiliar balance in these mediums. Psychologically complex with meticulous details, my drawings embody beauty and disturbing/unsettling quality.
Naoe Suzuki was born in Tokyo, Japan and grew up in Chiba, Japan until she decided to make her leap to the U.S as an exchange student when she was a high school senior. Naoe holds an M.F.A. in Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art. She has received several awards including the Artist Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (2001 and 2006), grant from Puffin Foundation (2013), and A.R.T. award from Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation (2008 and 2013). Her residency fellowships include Blue Mountain Center, Millay Colony for the Arts, Jentel and MacDowell Colony. Naoe’s works have been featured in New American Paintings (Vol. 86, 2008 & Vol. 74, 2010). She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Besides being an artist, Naoe is also a fanatic zouk dancer and spends much of her other spare time dancing. She also likes to draw on old book pages, and carries several book pages in a little case whenever she is traveling.