bio

Stephen H. Kawai was born and raised in Montréal, Canada. Obsessed with drawing from a very young age, his art training began as a teenager at the now-defunct Montreal Museum of Fine Arts School of Art and Design where he first encountered kinetic art during an outing to see the works of George Rickey. This artist’s spare and slowly moving pieces mesmerized Stephen and eventually (or inevitably) led him to the work of Alexander Calder and to reproduce the basic mobile forms. For many years, mobiles took a sideline to drawing, painting and ceramics, as well as academic pursuits (Stephen holds degrees in biochemistry and chemistry). It was during a three-year stay in Paris in the early ’90s, the city where the art form was invented and the term “mobile” coined, that his interest in modern sculpture was rekindled. Upon returning to Montréal in 1994, he began to create mobiles in his own style, often drawing from notes and mental sketches done in France. Rather than exploring abstract metallic components, he began to focus on a wide range of natural materials including rock, coral, shell and plant material, as well as various semi-precious stones. Stephen continues to broaden his artistic scope, incorporating mobile work into installations and exploring novel means of augmenting the kinetic aspect of his creations.