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Naomi Kawanishi Reis was born in Shiga, Japan, and received an MFA from the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Transcultural Identity at Hamilton College. She has participated in residencies at Yaddo, Wave Hill, the Lower East Side Printshop, the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, the Vermont Studio Center and the Millay Colony for the Arts, and has shown at venues such as Mixed Greens, TSA New York, Susan Inglett, Field Projects, Kunsthalle Galapagos, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Exit Art, AIA Center for Architecture + Design Gallery (San Francisco), Little Berlin and Vox Populi (Philadelphia). She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Naomi Reis's work provides visual metaphors for the present and future of human activity as it intersects with nature.
“Borrowed Landscapes” investigates the perfectly maintained "natural" environments found in botanical conservatories; “Vertical Gardens” imagines plants growing wild on the exterior of an absurdist Modernist building; “Dark Matter” explores the unknown reaches of deep space; and “Geodesic Spheres” pays tribute to the geodesic structures developed by Buckminster Fuller. These series investigate parallel spaces that exist outside the realm of everyday life – they are templates, or three-dimensional metaphors, rather than real, lived-in spaces. Empty and uninhabited, these neutral spaces allow the mind to occupy and wander around in them; a third space that floats between reality and the imagination.