Funeral by Naoki Iwakawa feat Ikue Mori (1/3)

Funeral by Naoki Iwakawa feat. Ikue Mori (Live painting & projection with sound) One night special event, part 1 of a 3 part series *Viewing from outside only*

FUNERAL commemorates the death of musician Tim Wright. Wright was a member of the influential No-wave band DNA, and a longtime friend of Iwakawa. Before they met, Wright was already one of Iwakawa’s musical heroes, and the two would eventually cross paths at Cave Gallery in Brooklyn. They went on to collaborate for nearly two decades, until Wright passed away in 2013. From the deceased’s belongings and ashes, Iwakawa created this memorial.

With FUNERAL, Iwakawa preserves the idea of his friend, and constructs a link between memory and the physical object. Painting, as an art form, gives a sense of illusion, while the incorporation of the deceased’s actual clothing makes us face the reality of death. Dried flowers and ashes, objects that once had life, further add to the sense of impermanence.

When painting, Iwakawa seeks to inhabit the moment with an uninhibited yet neutral mind state, accepting of the flaws and surprises he encounters along the way. He uses both video and live performance as a way to show this creative process.

For this performance Iwakawa partners with musician Ikue Mori, the former drummer of DNA. Iwakawa’s art is instinctive, spontaneous, and always searching to find the balance that exists between beauty and death.


Naoki Iwakawa is a painter and musician based in Brooklyn, NY. He has been heavily involved in the underground art scene since the early 90’s, primarily known for his live painting performances.