Contemporary Art, Meditation & Nature

Artist Nathalie Ishizuka, The Earth Element, Acrylic and Mixed Media including Japanese Rice Paper on Canvas, 120cm x 120cm, Brussels Collection, Japanese Embassy, Brussels Belgium, March 5-22 2024.


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Price: 10,000 euros


Exhibition Kizuna : Embassy of Japan in Belgium March 5th – March 22nd 2024, Rue Van Maerlant 1, 1040 Brussels (10:00-12:00 and 13:30-16:00), Week Days Only, Embassy Hours.

The Japanese embassy of Brussels is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, Kizuna: the Bonds that Unite us All, featuring the artist Nathalie Ishizuka and her most recent work on the Four Elements (earth, water, air and fire) and the Crane Wife Re-Told. Over thirty paintings exhibited.

The exhibition Kizuna is born from Ishizuka working full time for over ten years with the Philosopher Dr. Paul Briot and artists after the March 11, 2011 crisis (nuclear, earthquake, tsunami) on the use of art to elevate in crisis.

Ishizuka was sent to Japan after March 11 disaster by Dr. Briot to find, select, and work with great Japanese traditional artists and masters from several disciplines who could through their art create a moment of silence within the viewer. “I thought I was coming to contribute something to the artists,” says Ishizuka, “but it was them who were training me.

While Ishizuka comes herself from a family of artists including her grandfather who painted the designs of ships and kimonos, she had no formal training in art. She was a meditator with no experience in the arts.

Ishizuka had to find and become the disciple of each Japanese master, before hoping to meditate with one or create with another. She did not learn techniques of sumie, ninon buyo (dance), shodo, japanese architecture or other (which would have taken several lifetimes says Ishizuka), but the way of being of each artist.

Nathalie’s meditations and deep friendships with Japanese masters for over ten years such as Saiso Shimada after March 11, 2011 lead to herself become an artist.

“I became an artist, by a fortunate accident,” says Ishizuka. “I loved painting and creation as a child, but never imagined to have the freedom to paint and create from one’s inner imagination. Nor the grace of such artists who carried art from within.”

The Four Elements

“The cranes that tell the tale of the Crane Wife in the exhibition are surrounded by paintings of the four elements. At the time of the tsunami, earthquake and nuclear incident, I had believed that man alone with God or the universe could overcome together. That we could re-invent ourselves,” says Ishizuka. “At the time, I was not yet aware in my meditations of the elements of earth, water, air and fire,” says Ishizuka. “These four elements are within each of us and embody the whole universe. Alone without them, we are nothing.”

The four elements are painted on large canvasses in acrylic often using Gold to show their importance. “These elements surround us and they engulf us,” says Ishizuka. “They are us,” she admits, “but far more than us, she adds simply. Humans are so small in this universe.

Without recognition of these forces within and without, it is hard to believe that we can overcome anything especially with current challenges in the world,” says Ishizuka.