Stimulated by various things, such as city, landscape, travel, flower, poem, I expressed images and messages in Nihonga (Japanese traditional painting), relief, and sculpture.

I drew graffiti on the walls of buildings in the city, and then I became interested in the expression of matiere, which led to the texture of paper reliefs.

On hemp paper for Nihonga or on the paper panel molded by myself, I painted images by Iwaenogu, acrylic paints, gold and silver leaves, gold powder, race, pieces of iron or brass, in order to develop world of my own images.

In many of my paper reliefs, main theme was "the earth", which expressed warmth and power of the Mother Earth.

In my works composed of many pieces, the variation in color and shape indicates different character of players, whilst the gradation of color shows harmony among them. Underlying these works are my wish that the world would become a better place if people can be more tolerant, respect difference among them, and resonate with each other, achieving harmony as a whole.

In my sculpture, I visually represented what a person or an anthropomorphic animal is thinking.

“Memory of Circles”
Junko Iwasa

November 11, 2022 – January 29,2023
Exhibit Hall: Exhibition Hours: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm

(Hours subject to change during special events. Refer to

JFG General Admission Fee: Adults $14.00, Students, seniors (over 65) &
Active-Duty Military (with valid I.D) $ 12.00

Junko Iwasa Gallery Talk
11/11 1:00-1:30 pm Exhibit Hall (Include with admission)

Japanese Wreath making
11/11 2:00 -4:00 pm (Registration required: Member $10, Nonmember $25(include with admission)

The Japanese Friendship Garden (JFG) presents an exhibition of Japanese multimedia artist Junuko Iwasa who was Born in Osaka Prefecture. After received BA at Osaka Kyoiku University Japan. She creates traditional Japanese paintings, reliefs, and sculptures inspired by everyday life, nature, and the social environment. She works with a variety of contemporary materials as well as traditional Japanese materials. She has received numerous national and international awards and has been exhibited in Japan and abroad.

Enso(circular form) is a Zen calligraphic form that symbolically expresses enlightenment, truth, and spiritual fulfillment as a round shape that represents eternity, a continuum without beginning or end. Also I was inspired by the sensibility of those who believed that the universe was a circular system, I use a variety of materials to express the all-encompassing power, peace, abundance, gentleness, and softness of the circle.

When I first began creating artworks, I was fascinated by the textures of city walls and graffiti in NY, and created traditional Japanese-style paintings on the theme of walls. Later, I developed the technique of matiere (expression of materials) and began to pursue the expression of the receptiveness and warmth of nature by handcrafted paper, pulp, and wood powder, and coloring with ink, shell powder, rock paint, acrylic paint, gold and silver leaf, and other materials.

The works, composed of small pieces of different sizes, shapes, and materials, each have their own individuality, but when gathered together, they create harmony by respecting each other. I hope that this is also true of the complex social structures and living environments that surround us!

Junko Iwasa

Contact: Emiko Scudder 619-232-2784

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