PaperCity Magazine

May 2019- Dallas

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T he mist that often lingers above Turtle Creek on a crisp spring morning is as close as we might get to finding Zen in our city's urban sprawl. The concept of mist — tiny droplets of water suspended in the air, soon to transform into a translucent cloud — is rather analogous to the work of Japan-born, Dallas-based artist Kana Harada. Some of her works, such as Cotton Candy Tree, Duet, and Trio, have a decorative-arts quality. Collectively, they resemble highly stylized chandeliers gliding in the air — much like mist hanging above water. An intimate experience with Harada's mobiles is both poignant and compelling. The shadows these works cast on a stark-white gallery wall leave the viewer transfixed. Harada lives and works in a quaint loft on Main Street in Downtown Dallas, an artful respite in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle of fashion made up of Neiman Marcus, Forty Five Ten, and Traffic LA. Her dwelling calls to mind the romanticized notion of the artist as an urban dweller — a creative soul who feeds on the rapid pulse generated by the chaos of a big city. Yet Harada's work is different. It doesn't reflect urban chaos; instead, it embodies an otherworldly element that is fanciful and fantastical. Harada shares her monastic space — she enjoys referring to herself as an art monk — with her husband of more than 20 years, Makoto (Mak) Takemura. "Mak says it was 100 percent my decision to live downtown," she says. "My commute is my walk from our bedroom in the mornings to the former living room, which now functions as my studio — and in contrast he must brave traffic to make it up to his offices at Texas Instruments." For the couple, living in a historic building was of utmost importance, as they relish the flavor and charm that comes with a patina of age. Harada dreams of the building's past tenants, and she prefers the minor quirks and flaws that come with living in a historic space. "The floor isn't even level — but I appreciate that about our loft," she says. "A lot of the windows don't work. They keep us cold during the winter and hot during the summer, but I still love it." 72 A PRECISE LIFE WE TAKE A THOUGHTFUL WALK THROUGH THE WORLD OF KANA HARADA. URBAN DWELLER. ART MONK. MYSTIC. BY BILLY FONG. PORTRAIT MISAEL RODRIGUEZ. Kana Harada in her downtown loft and studio

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