Kiyomi Iwata draws strength from undermining expectations. A creative force raised in an era in which Japanese women were encouraged to stick to social norms, Iwata followed her own path. She has created a portfolio of pieces that not only play with the boundaries between art and craft, but also reflect her meticulous attention to detail and a life balanced between two cultures. Like many in Japan, Iwata’s family prized scholarship over creativity. “In Japan, it’s acceptable to pursue art if you come from a family with a history of artists, ” she explains. “I did not.” What she did possess was endless curiosity and a fierce urge to create. This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Thanks, I Hate It How to give feedback to art friends. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Puff Piece On inflatable art. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Hannah Traore The art world's next big thing is a gallerist. Arts & Culture Issue 43 The Sellout On the moral maze of art and money. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Signal Boost How status anxiety drives culture. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Dream House The rise of renderporn.