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Kay Watanabe

Kay Watanabe is an Australian-based Japanese visual artist, mainly working in the field of printmaking, drawing, painting and small objects. She extensively exhibits her works in Australia and internationally, in solo and group shows.


Kay has always been attracted by the divine beauty of nature, creating works using such motifs as plants, landscapes, planets and other natural phenomena which has amazed people and which, at the same time, might make them feel humble, spiritual and possibly scared. In 2020 and 2021, Kay was away from her usual artistic base in Brisbane due to the Covid 19 pandemic and responded to an unexpectedly protracted stay in her birthplace, Tokyo. Exploration and experimentation are two words that best describe Kay’s activities during the 21- month period when she initiated a self-directed artist-in-residence in Tokyo. Here she investigated the natural world of the area where she stayed and pushed boundaries to express her experience and emotion.


She returned to Australia in late 2021 to resume her activities in Brisbane. Kay says on her stay in Tokyo, “I regularly visited the small woodland located near me, and humbly, gently, quietly, calmly, patiently, used all my senses to feel what was there and what was going on around me. When I felt something strongly and felt the urge to document it, I began creating. When I did so, I was thinking ‘How long I or we humans on this planet would be able to stay like this.’"

Kay Watanabe, Forest Dreaming, 2021

Woodblock and linocut print on Japanese paper 

63 cm x 42.5 cm


Forest Dreaming  is a selected finalist at the InkFest international print award by InkMasters in Cairns in 2021

Kay Watanabe_In the woods thinking- triptych - Japanese Mokuhanga woodblock prints - 19x17

Kay Watanabe, In the woods, thinking, triptych, 2020

Japanese mokuhanga woodblock prints on Japanese paper 

30 cm x 21 cm each print or 30 cm x 63 cm for the triptych

The triptych is a finalist at the "Sumi-Fusion: 2021 International Mokuhanga Exhibition" in Nara, Japan. 

For more information about the collection please contact Martha Liew

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