Moe Wakai


Year of Residency: 2023


Moe Wakai is a minimalist artist and BFA graduate of ‘21 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Through photography, weaving, and embroidery, she explores introspection and the subtleties of human experience. Influenced by stillness and perception, Moe’s works embody kindness and personability. Using limited colors and textures, she creates visually uncluttered spaces that amplify her ideas. Her labor-intensive techniques, such as weaving and embroidery, serve as meditative acts that enhance the thematic depth of her art. One notable piece, “Do/n’t Touch,” challenges viewers with conflicting messages, prompting contemplation on access and engagement. Moe’s series titled “Take a breath” features faded papers embedded with tea, symbolizing transitions and offering serenity. With her art, she aims to create a relatable and thought-provoking impact, inviting viewers into contemplative moments. Moe now lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.


Artist Statement

I explore and extrovert through photography, while introverting and internalizing through textiles. I express myself through these different mediums, each with its own connotations. With my camera, I document my relationship with the world, capturing the conversations between me, my subject, and my lens. Through textiles, I find solace in meticulous crafting, rumination, and the simple act of making.
My work seeks to create a sense of ease and introspection, drawing inspiration from unexpected pairings that bring harmony to seemingly contradicting elements. I strive to make people feel at ease and provide moments of introspection, creating art that is both pretty and thought-provoking. I want my work to invite questions and self-reflection, like the feeling of secretly touching art in a gallery. The satisfaction tinged with guilt, and the calm introspection that follows, brings about a sweet existentialism.