mahabis art // modern japanese ink paintings

there's something about this artwork that seems spontaneous (even if it was actually meticulous conceived) that inspires a sense of freedom and optimism. we love these unusual ink paintings by abu dhabi based australian artist natasha kowalski.

kowalski majored in japanese woodblock while studying fine art at university and spent years mastering the technique only to pull it apart.

japanese ink works are steeped in tradition, hailing back to buddhist temples in the 8th century. the most iconic example is the great wave of kanagawa by hokusai, that helped the japanese word tsunami enter the english language.

after mastering the technique, kowalski began to experiment by taking away the wood and just using the ink instinctively. however, like traditional japanese ink paintings, she is still inspired by the shapes of nature such as leaves, waves and wind.

her works use the colours of nature overlayed with metalic hues. they are abstract interpretations of nature.

the works can arouse the imagination very differently up close and far away, or if you arrange a series on a wall in different order. in fact they are great little objects to move around with your mood.

kowalski is originally from sydney and has worked as a magazine art director and corporate studio manager, but now paints from her own studio in abu dhabi. you can find out more about her and her work at her tumblir account of at


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