Kanya Iwana is an Indonesian-born multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her spirited voice can be heard through her vivid and etherial images that favour movement and a smooth visual tempo.
Iwana’s visual language is free-flowing and yet manages to capture depth and volume. Working across both film and photography allows her to capture singular affecting moments as well as being able to stretch those moments into fuller narratives revealing subtle surrealism.
LA based singer-songwriter Clay’s music video; “Orange“, which Iawna directed and produced, attests to her unique approach to filmmaking—one that is attentive to rhythm, compositional unity and colour progression. The video is centred around three colours; orange, purple and blue —with every other detail and feature swirling around these in an exquisite Tango.
Iwana’s commercial portfolio is as extensive as it is impressive. It includes record labels, retailers, fashion houses and jewellery designers (Atlantic records, Columbia records, Polaroid Originals, Warby Parker, Swarovski, Rose inc., Nasty gal, Zero + Maria Cornejo, among others) with features in publications including I-D, Vogue US, The Hollywood Reporter and Dujor Magazine.
Iwana’s tender eye allows her to play with photographing the human form and inspires new perspectives on representation and difference. She captures her sitters delicately while illuminating their strength and complexity. The alchemy of colour, texture and repetition rouse an aura of poetic mystique.
In an interview with Buzzfeed News Iwana notes:
You learn through your mistakes. And you just work smartly and fearlessly. And that’s so vague, I know, but I think you just have to honestly persevere. It’s so cliché but it’s a cliché for a reason. There’s thousands of people trying to do the same thing and yes, there is room for everyone, but you also have to just stay in your lane, learn a thing or two while you’re running, and keep going.
In terms of where the future might lead her, she explains:
I’m currently developing my ongoing project that is called ‘I Don’t Fit In’. It really just focuses on humans at their most vulnerable when they’re not accepted in society. My goal is to go back to my home country in Indonesia and really attack the topic of colorism because it’s such a huge thing there.