Featured Artist: Emi Burns

Emi Burns is a visual artist who lives and works in Seattle, WA. She was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and immigrated to the US in 2018. She mainly works in oil and mixed media painting, expressing how her internal world synchronizes with the external environment. Her works depict emotional scenes from her mind’s eye, oscillating in-between abstract and figurative elements.

Burns received her BFA in Oil Painting from Tama Art University in Tokyo, and her works have been exhibited in Japan and the US. She most recently participated in a juried virtual 3D exhibit “Touch” presented by bG Gallery, Santa Monica, CA. Some of her pieces are featured in the Fall 2020 edition of ‘Subjectiv. Journal’, Portland, OR, as well as being selected for “New This Week” in the Saatchi Collection.

With influences by European modernism, abstract expressionism, conceptual art, and also Southeast Asian folk art, the worldwide experiences have helped Burns rediscover the essence of the Japanese aesthetic. Specifically, she interprets traditional concepts such as: appreciation of transient beauty, space representation, and non-three-dimensional expression.

Since relocating to the US, art has become more of a self-identifying practice, and a core motive of her art is to express raw individuality and transition. Illuminated by diverse, intercultural appreciation, Burns believes that very personal matters can achieve universality beyond division through art.

Not That Bad
oil, oil bar, acrylic, marker, and collage on paper, 18×24 in, 2021

Artist Statement:

My art is about sensations and emotions. I draw beauty that I admire and feelings that I want to set free. Interesting finds are captured, and random moments overlap.

Contrasts attract me as dualities, not as opposing forces. Capturing the duality leads to the interconnectedness of moments, where both presence and absence resonate; ephemeral but powerful, impermanent yet eternal. Sorrow and aches also dwell within beauty and joyousness, and my core theme is to grasp the rawness of sensations.

Making art empowers me. It dives into where my perception, thoughts, observation, and discoveries overflow, which enhances a vivid perception. I hope my vision shares this vividness with the viewers.



Cafe Veloce
oil, oil bar, graphite, and collage on canvas, 18×24 in, 2021
Summertime Roses
acrylic, oil, oil bar, and collage on paper, 28×22 in, 2021
Wild Lilies
oil, acrylic, and pencil on paper, 18×24 in, 2021
Every Day By Day (30 individual pieces), 2020
United Fragments (9 Piece Work), 2020
Untitled (Aloe in Blue), Triptych, 2020
Untitled (Green Vigor), 2020
Untitled (Intimacy I, II, III), 2020

The works below are all themed on ‘coexistence in the moment’. Various influences give birth to a vivacity that shapes our life and keeps us evolving. A challenge can bring us strength. Focusing on the bright side of change, I aim to capture the interconnected transitions and to share those visions in an ongoing search for hope.

The piece called “Movement” highlights a positive, uplifting energy in the waves of change. “Illuminate” illustrates a scene of nature that could be just around the corner, where the beauty is nourished throughout the seasons; symbolizing the need to find light even in the darkest days. “Encounter” expresses one’s internal world intertwined with the outer world, through allusions to day and night time. “Music of a Gust” suggests a beating rhythm with a rapid flow. “Toward Light” represents diverse cultures rising into a Phoenix, uniting and leading the shine of a vibrant future.

Toward Light
Music of a Gust