Concert by Exotic Sin
Naima Karlsson and Kenichi Iwasa

Thursday, August 24, 2023
8 PM

Salon des Amateurs, Grabbeplatz 4, Düsseldorf

Doors: 7.30 pm

Exotic Sin’s musical practice is one of acoustic contrasts: Kenichi Iwasa’s and Naima Karlsson’s dense body of sound interweaves natural, analog sounds—piano, trumpet, flute, and percussion—with digital recordings, loops, and live sampling. The two artists’ collaboration began in 2018 in the form of a tribute performance dedicated to the artistic and musical works of Karlsson’s grandparents, designer and artist Moki Cherry (1943-2009) and free jazz pioneer Don Cherry (1936-1995). Iwasa and Karlsson have ever since worked together as Exotic Sin, an independent duo that continues to incorporate some of Don Cherry’s instruments—like “Zen saxophones,” woodwinds handmade by attaching reed mouthpieces to plastic plumbing parts—and the synergistic qualities of the visual art and improvised music that Moki and Don Cherry lived and breathed. Exotic Sin have performed at Somerset House Studios (London), Bourse de Commerce (Paris), Blank Forms (Brooklyn), Cafe Oto (London), Bergen Kunsthall, EartH (London), Lisson Gallery (London), Haus Der Kunst (Munich) and more.

Their concert at Salon des Amateurs is taking place in conjunction with the group exhibition Calling, in which a number of Moki Cherry’s textile works make their debut in Germany and are brought into dialogue with works by Lisa Alvarado, Lizzi Bougatsos, Beverly Buchanan, Michael Buthe, Melike Kara, Mark Leckey, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Sarah Pucci, Stefan Tcherepnin, Paul Thek, and Gisèle Vienne. Many of the works on show at the Kunstverein have regularly been shown beyond typical exhibition contexts—Moki Cherry’s tapestries, for instance, frequently moved from her home in Tågarp, Sweden, to children’s workshops or international concert stages.

Kenichi Iwasa (b. 1977, lives and works in London, UK) is an improviser and multidisciplinary artist from Japan. He plays a variety of instruments including trumpet, flute, percussion and handmade woodwinds, combined with electronic effects. Iwasa is also known for his legendary Krautrock Karaoke night, and has collaborated with visual artists and musicians such as Beatrice Dillon, Maxwell Sterling, Damo Suzuki and Linder Sterling.

Naima Karlsson (b. 1982, lives and works in London, UK and Tågarp, SWE) is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician based in London. Her practice interweaves sonic and visual forms led by interests in repetition, improvisation and the abstract relationships between language, symbol, image and sound. Karlsson’s main instrument is the piano, as well as percussion, vibraphone, and keyboards. Improvisation is at the core of the artist’s musical process, combined with minimalist uses of tone, arrangement, and an inherently organic approach to playing. Karlsson is also an archivist and coordinator for the Estate of Moki Cherry and Cherry Archive.

Image: Exotic Sin © Anne Tetzlaff