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Artist profile: Motoko Kikkawa

Motoko Kikkawa 2018

Motoko Kikkawa

Written by Rebecca Tune for Art Ache by Candlelight, Dunedin.

21st June 2018.

Born in Hino, Tokyo, Motoko Kikkawa arrived in Dunedin; New Zealand’s South Island creative hub in 2004. Upon arriving it didn’t take Kikkawa long to immerse herself in Dunedin’s creative community.

Kikkawa’s many and varied works range from small, delicate ink and watercolour drawings on paper, through to both solo violin performances and collaborative sound experiments. These works seamlessly flow from one to the other and embody notions of flux, organic growth and infinite possibilities. ­

Attending Dunedin School of Art provided Kikkawa with a solid platform to begin her research and ongoing relationship with Dunedin’s growing sound art movement. In the beginning, it enabled Kikkawa to connect and communicate with her peers as she sought to find her space in Dunedin’s art scene. This sound art movement was to become the beating heart to Kikkawa’s art practice.

“When I am making objects, I recall past conversations. When I play music, I play as if I am having a new conversation with the person I am performing with”

Motoko Kikkawa’s work to date has been prolific, varied and enquiring. She speaks of walking and the search on her walks for material to feed her art practice. Material that is not tied necessarily to physical artifacts but more abstract concepts of war, sadness, disease and desire. She speaks of conversations, the fluidity of conversations and her recall of them.

Motoko’s incredible intricacy and life is what drew Art Ache by Candlelight curator Phoebe Lysbeth-McKenzie to the mesmerising works of Motoko Kikkawa.

“I relish the opportunity of including such a quintessential figure of the Dunedin art and underground music scene in this event!” – Phoebe Lysbeth-MacKenzie.


Written by Rebecca Tune for the Dunedin Art Ache by Candlelight, 21st June 2018.

Artist: Motoko Kikkiwa

Event Press Release

Art Ache Collect memorabilia.