Kazuki Takizawa spoke to two classes at Van Nuys High this morning, inspiring AP Drawing students to pursue the path of art and others to consider how art is a channel for expression. This was the first exposure most of the students had to blown glass as an art discipline. They asked questions about Kazuki’s process and his inspiration.
With candor and honesty, Kazuki talked about how his sculptural work reflects personal struggles and reveals his inner thoughts and feelings. Viewing glass vessels for their symbolic potential, Kazuki takes inspiration from a Japanese saying that people are like vessels– some are smaller and only able to contain so much, whereas others are larger and able to handle more. In his recent projects, Kazuki has been dedicated to opening conversations about mental illness in our society and he was able to initiate that with these students.
Kazuki also spoke about his interest in Shintoism and the notion of perceiving the inner spirit inside inanimate objects. He ended each session with a q&a, in which the students put their hand-written questions inside one of his original Container Series pieces so that he could address their questions with anonymity. Several students lingered after the talk to speak with Kazuki one-on-one about their own challenges and to share their artwork with him.