Born in Japan to an architect father and a mother who liked to sew and make puppets, Kawai seems to have absorbed the talents of both of her parents in her own unique way. Kawai makes work that keeps the innocent, honest integrity of adolescent playfulness, but on a more grand and sophisticated level. Her practice runs the gamut of media, taking shape on canvas, in freestanding sculpture, on wall-mounted papier-mâché constructions, artists’ books, ceramics, furniture, and even her smiley / sad stone editions. Her visual language, influenced by east and west, combines humor with tragedy, reality with dream, conflict with harmony. Kawai has had solo exhibitions around the world, including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Malmö Konsthall in Sweden; Children’s Museum of Arts in New York; and the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo; and has been featured in shows at PS1 and Deitch Projects in New York. Misaki Kawai is represented by The Hole in New York; V1 Gallery in Copenhagen; and Take Ninagawa in Tokyo.
Combing Season, 2019 - This bright, colorful, dog-centric creation for OFF THE WALL features a bright yellow space, peppered with floating dog bones. Viewers are welcomed to sit on Kawai’s “Chewey YUM YUM” bench or to interact directly with the playful wall, where three comb-able dog paintings hang, waiting to be groomed.