Natsuki Katsukawa was born in Osaka and completed the Glass Arts course at Kindai University Faculty of Literature, Arts and Cultural Studies, where she received the Award of Excellence at the Graduation Exhibition. She continued to study glass-making at Tokyo University of the Arts where she completed her masters and started her PhD in 2016.
Katsukawa is known for her glass sculptures, Micro World Specimens, inspired by microorganisms. The artist is fascinated with the morphology of small organisms, notably fungus, plants and plankton. To create her pieces she refers to microscope imaging for inspiration.
"I have been interested in the biology of these various living creatures. I learnt that they were alive like us. However, the way they look and their lives are totally different from ours. The way they look through a microscope or in a picture book, or even a plant that I pick up, look wondrous in their shape and are mysterious. They stimulate my intellectual curiosity. I thought that I would like to express the beautiful world of these creatures using glass as the medium." - says the artist.
Her works are both strong and gentle, the result of excellent glass making technique. Glass is a difficult material to handle, and this is something which excites Katsukawa.
"I explore and try various techniques in order to attain the final form that I aim for. That is a pure joy to me. This process leads me to discover an attraction of glass that is unknown to anybody. Glass moves and changes its form organically in heat, which gives me the sense of life energy. It also gives me the sense of the transient nature of living things - when it’s cooled down and becomes fragile. That is the reason why I have consistently expressed living creatures in my glass works."
Katsukawa won the prestigious Stanislav Libensky Award in 2016, an international competitive exhibition of young glassmakers, in Prague, Czech Republic. She was selected for an award in the “Young glass” category at Glass Museum Ebeltoft, Denmark, in 2017. Most recently, she was awarded the Grand Prize in the 7th Contemporary Glass Art Exhibition in Yamaguchi.