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Single vessel from the Waiting Lady series. Shallow, small white porcelain bowl with the face of a female figure in black line on the interior.
Single vessel from the Waiting Lady series. Shallow, small white porcelain bowl with the face of a female figure in black line on the interior.

Object of the Week – “Waiting Lady #291”

Single vessel from the Waiting Lady series. Shallow, small white porcelain bowl with the face of a female figure in black line on the interior.
Saya Moriyasu. “Waiting Lady #291,” 2007. Dove porcelain, glaze, underglaze, ribbon, and glue, 4 ¼ x 4 x 1/4in. (10.8 x 10.2 x 0.6 cm). Tacoma Art Museum. Gift of Safeco Insurance, a member of the Liberty Mutual Group, and Washington Art Consortium.

“I love creating open stories in my artwork” writes Seattle-based artist Saya Moriyasu. By using figurative elements, like those visible in “Waiting Lady 291,” and broad, yet informative titles, Moriyasu creates an implied story that connects with the viewer. This approach also provides enough material to encourage interpretation and allows the viewer to understand a work as it relates to their experiences or embellishment.

Moriyasu’s practice is inspired by her Japanese and American/European heritage. According to the artist, “the mix of my Japanese father and my Oregon born and raised-on-a-farm mother made an incongruent world where a beautiful Kannon (goddess of mercy) shared the same space as a polyester afghan blanket. Living with that mix makes me love that same odd mix in chinoiserie (the European art/design made in a Chinese style).  That wrongness is right to me.” Additionally, she finds inspiration in a variety of themes and ideas including Americana, consumerism, humor, the decorative arts, class, history, Buddhism, and a love of beauty. Her works are often comprised of many smaller pieces that make up a larger installation or artwork, in clay, wood, prints, and other materials.

Saya Moriyasu was born in Portland, OR and now lives and works in Seattle, WA. She received a BFA from the University of Washington in 1991. She has been awarded residencies at Skowhegan and Pilchuck Glass School and is a decade long member of SOIL Art Cooperative. In 2009, she received a Pratt Fine Arts Center and Pilchuck Glass School Scholarship award.

Moriyasu has exhibited at venues including the Deitch Art Parade (New York), Aqua Art Miami (Florida), Montserrate College of Art (Massachusetts), Henry Art Gallery Gift Shop Project, Bellevue Arts Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and Wing Luke Museum for the Asian American Experience.