Haruko Okano

Region: Vancouver British Columbia
| Born 1945, Ontario


Haruko Okano is a process-based, collaborative, multidisciplinary, mixed media artist whose practice aims to break away from traditional, Eurocentric genres to integrate elements of her Japanese ancestry as well as holistic traditions of hunter-gatherer cultures.

Okano also guides her practice with her concerns for the natural environment and the planet’s preservation, often using recycled materials and organic matter in her work.

Artist Statement

I may sculpt in salt and put it out in the forest for both weather and animals to add their markings. I may scout for beaver and include their delicate teeth marked twigs in such works as ‘The Window of Time.’ I collect blossoms and slowly preserve them and their colour to be laminated over willow armatures creating large topiary sculptures. I try to close the psychological and physical distance between the art and audience by creating works that include their full sensory experience. I develop installations like ‘All Fall Down’ that have a participatory aspect, inviting viewers out of their passive positions to literally add to the work or by unconsciously performing within an installation; they become part of the kinesis that animate and bring my work to its fullest potential. I am interested in the environment as a living journal that embraces a history of its inhabitants, their daily lives and use of the land.
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