We had the good fortune of connecting with Kazuki Takizawa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kazuki, what makes you happy? Why?
As an artist who lives with bipolar disorder, I think about this question a lot. Being in control of my mental wellness and maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle definitely is my highest contributing factor to my daily happiness. In addition to this, I keep in close contact with my wonderful support system of family and friends and try not to take things too seriously when I am having racing thoughts. Living with this condition that makes me prone to having the highs and the lows, I habitually do research regarding this mental illness and try to stay on top of what is expected to happen. For this, I am very happy to say that I have not experienced any major devastating episodes of depression, hypo-mania or suicidal thoughts in many years. With the current spread of the coronavirus in the US and in Los Angeles, I have decided to temporarily shut down my studio, KT Glassworks until the stay-at-home order is lifted. Since then, I have been doing a lot more gardening, cooking and spending time with my family which has been really lifting my mood. Particularly, I am enjoying making good soil for the garden. I have a worm farm going where I put my daily kitchen scraps to feed these red wiggler composting worms and use the worm casting and tea to supplement the nutrition in the garden soil. It may sound a little weird for someone to be so into breeding worms but I find this self-sustaining cycle of nature really amazing and find it really calming to create a small ecosystem in my home. I really enjoy the little things in life.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Currently, I am most excited about showing my most recent body of work in my upcoming exhibition at the Craft Contemporary museum (https://www.craftcontemporary.org/exhibitions/glass-works-by-kazuki-takizawa). In this exhibit, I will be exhibiting glass sculptures and installations in a dark space. Inspired by moments I have had previously in my episodes of depression and mania, I use glass to express the spectrum of emotion that one can feel. The exhibition will include glass installations and pieces that utilize historical glassblowing techniques such as creating lines in glass using canes and Murrinis.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I am a sucker for good food so whoever comes to visit me from out of town will be going out to eat and drink for sure. The seafood market at Redondo Beach is always a good time as you can eat really fresh seafood and go out on a sunny stroll afterward. They will definitely have to check out my studio KT Glassworks located in the West Adams neighborhood. They may even get to experience glassblowing from one of our very talented glassblowing instructors. I also love going to diners personally, so Pann’s is a good place to swing by on the way back to the airport!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to all my friends who I work with at KT Glassworks. At the studio, we teach glassblowing classes, offer corporate team events and make our own work. Without the support of these amazing glass artists, KT Glassworks would not be the same. Here are a few glass artists who work with me at the studio! David Gutierrez, Kate Buttino, Deshon Tyau-George and Kaj Akira Johnson! Thank you guys! and thanks to all the other talented artists at KT Glassworks as well!

Website: https://www.craftcontemporary.org/exhibitions/glass-works-by-kazuki-takizawa/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ktglassworks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KTGlassworksLA
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/kt-glassworks-los-angeles
Youtube: https://youtu.be/ZoTqcTg6ifc
Other: www.kazukitakizawa.com www.ktglassworks.com

Image Credits
Jordan Trimas Robert Wedemeyer Jason Dowdle