The Artsy Vanguard 2020: Asuka Anastacia Ogawa

Claire Voon
Sep 11, 2020 8:00PM

Asuka Anastacia Ogawa

B. 1988, Tokyo. Lives and works in Los Angeles and New York.

Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, Sand, 2020. © Asuka Anastacia Ogawa. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.


To lock eyes with the childlike beings in Asuka Anastacia Ogawa’s paintings is to experience a curious sensation of being caught—as if your presence is unreal, rather than the boldly conjured, inviolable, flat picture planes she creates. Depicting figures in enchanting scenes filled with cryptic symbols from mirrors to garlic bulbs, Ogawa’s works engage with a deeply personal visual language that maintains ties to her ancestral homelands of Japan and Brazil.

These reveries of diasporic imagination made a noticeable splash at Ogawa’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., which was not at a traditional gallery but at the Los Angeles studio of Henry Taylor. There, pinned up in a space awash in floor-to-ceiling crimson, were paintings curated by fellow artist Cassi Namoda, their subjects exuding magical radiance and mysterious, unspoken wisdom. In the three years since that decidedly DIY display, Ogawa has quickly earned institutional acclaim. After participating in two group shows at Deli Gallery in 2018, she had a solo show at Half Gallery in June 2019, where all nine works sold before the opening. More recently, Ogawa’s work was acquired by the newly opened X Museum in Beijing, and this past April, she joined the impressive roster of Blum & Poe, with whom she is having her first solo show at the gallery’s Tokyo site this September.

The Artsy Vanguard 2020

The Artsy Vanguard 2020 is our annual list of the most promising artists shaping the future of contemporary art. This year, artists are organized into two categories: Newly Emerging, which presents artists who’ve gained momentum in the past year, showing at leading institutions and galleries; and Getting Their Due, which identifies artists who have persevered for decades, yet only recently received the spotlight they deserve. Now in its third edition, the feature was developed by the Artsy staff, in collaboration with our network of international curators and art professionals. Explore more of The Artsy Vanguard 2020.

Claire Voon

Header and thumbnail image, from left to right: Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, “Sand,” 2020; Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, “This May,” 2020; Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, “Garlic Boy,” 2020; Asuka Anastacia Ogawa, “Coming Home,” 2020. All images: © Asuka Anastacia Ogawa. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo.