Water, Water Everywhere?

Water, is Taught by Thirst (WHITE), Central Adirondacks, 2015, laser cut paper, mat board and glue on paper, 24” x 36”.

Naoe Suzuki’s Thirst For Awareness

by Taryn Plumb

Especially in first-world countries, water is a resource that’s very often taken for granted – it comes out of the tap, streams out of the shower, is poured into plastic bottles and driven in by the pallet-full on the back of diesel- belching trucks.

In her latest body of work, Tokyo-born artist Naoe Suzuki strives for viewers to reassess and deeply contemplate their relationship with water – in all its forms. Her works – rendered on equally fragile paper – incorporate tracings of various water bodies alongside symbolic cutouts and whimsical collage.

“Most of us never think about it, because water is always here,” said the Waltham-based artist, who came to the states more than 30 years ago as an exchange student. Quoting the Emily Dickinson poem, “Water, is Taught by Thirst,” she stressed that there is no such thing as “always,” and that water is not free or in the condition that some of us assume it to be. “We only think of things after they’re gone,” she said.

Suzuki’s ruminations on the status of water will be displayed in the exhibit, “In Solidarity” through November 25 at UMass Lowell’s University Gallery. The show features 17 pieces, both paper works and installations, focusing on the themes of water supply and scarcity, contamination and pollution.

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