Born in Hawaii to a Japanese mother and a military aviator father, Sali’s early years were spent living in various US States, Japan and Korea. After attending University in Tokyo she moved to Los Angeles where roots were finally grown. Having moved often in her youth and spending so much time “in between” – in between states, countries, houses, schools and cultures – she has developed a rich and unique inner life. She has created an inner space cultivated by all the differences she has seen. A space suspended between here and there. A space which is the foundation for all of her work.
Sali’s full time painting practice began after years as a small business owner. Her recent work has been mostly in the medium of oil and wax; both the cold and heated. The organic qualities of wax, from the way it handles, to the way it smells of honey and the luminosity which can be achieved has captured her creative spirit. She uses layers to build depth, alternating between opaque and translucent, and often finds herself scraping much of it back to reveal the moments of light she loves so much. This process mirrors the effects of life experiences on an individual as they grow and evolve. Often initial events and what lies beneath is not within view, yet is essential to the individual’s identity. If one looks close enough, traces of these earlier marks can be unveiled. Such is the journey of the soul and the journey of the artwork.
I hope to make visible the invisible worlds that move, motivate and guide us as soulful beings. My deepest wish for the work is for it to make the viewer pause, even for the briefest of moments, to reflect on or connect with their deeper selves. To make visible to them something that has only ever been a feeling or a dream.