Akiko Kotani
Akiko Kotani’s art embodies the surprising power and attraction of simplicity. The diversity of her influences and her training comes together in her distinctive imagination, which enables her to create original works. With whatever materials and whether the images are playful, serene or serious, her work contains a depth of feeling within an economy of means.

Much of the Akiko Kotani’s current uses the self-derived technique of stitching dots onto paper. This way of working started during the artist’s sojourn in Istanbul, Turkey. Not having access to the material and tools she was accustomed to using back home, the artist started to stitch paper she brought with her on the journey. After spending 2 years living in Istanbul, Akiko Kotani returned to the US inspired by the memory of the lingering enchantment of the Bosphorus Strait. Upon returning to her studio, Kotani continued to utilize this technique to produce works from the memories she had stored while living abroad.

Views of the Bosphorus is a series of works on paper, stitched with bamboo threads. The waterway is presented as negative space with the surrounding cities indicated by rendered dots onto paper. “These works were first conceived in Istanbul, gestated during my return to America, and realized in my studio, reflecting an internal and external journey that continues to this day,” the artist describes as her working process that has stretched over many years.
The same technique was employed in a work titled Roll, which issued from fascination with the simple vertical unspooling of the same kind of paper. The work gently winds forward so as to display the ends that peek through from the underside. 
Along the Douro River uses the same technique in a more diminutive scale and arises from a recent trip to Portugal. Kotani explains, "I am still producing works in this vein, stitched works on paper, but currently with the confidence of hindsight that creative memories may remain dormant for a spell before reappearing forcefully once again."

Akiko Kotani born in Waipahu, Hawaii received her BFA in painting from the University of Hawaii and her MFA in textiles from the Tyler School of Art, Elkins Park, PA. Now residing in Gulfport, FL she spent her former years as Professor Emerita of Art at Slippery Rock University, PA and two years at Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey. Her work is in the permanent collections of several private and public museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, OH and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.