Masako Ando was born in the Aichi Prefecture in 1976. She graduated from the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Aichi University of the Arts in 2001. She currently lives and works in Seto city, and is an Associate Professor at Aichi University of the Arts.
Her major solo exhibitions include “Hara Documents 9: Masako-Ando – The Garden of Belly Button”(Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 2012), “Masako Ando ’Songbook’ Commemorating the release of her first art book” (8/ ART GALLERY/ Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2016). Working with motifs such as young children, woolen knitted items, animals, plants and flowers, Ando creates paintings with eloquently smooth surfaces that take advantage of the characteristics of oil paint, and are conceived through various pictorial elements such as detailed depiction and her composition of the picture plane that incorporates the presence of large blank spaces. In contrast, while engaging with the same subject matter, her pencil drawings distinct for their meticulously elaborate execution, illustrate a much harder and solid texture.
Since 2018, she is engaged in creating ceramic relief works, along with charcoal, pencil, and water color drawings that have developed a new frontier within her artistic practice.
Rieko Otake’s woodcarvings express such motifs as young girls, birds and deer and even while her work looks somewhat delicate and unstable at times, one senses a unique strength in its universal presence replete with grace. Otake consistently uses the wood of camphor, cypress, and katsura trees, working within a method of adding finishing touches to a foundation of non-colored wood. Approaching closer the works, one becomes aware of an unexpected vigor to the chisel marks. She is affected by the importance of the rhythm of the repeated carving motions: a sincere process of exchange as if the tree and one’s breathing might become joined together, so that the artwork appears as story replete with lyricism.
Rieko Otake was born in 1978 in Kanagawa Prefecture. In 2004 she graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts’ Graduate School of Fine Arts, majoring in sculpture, and completed her PhD in 2007. Her works have been collected in the Takahashi and JAPIGOZZI Collections. As well as exhibiting in the show “As Long As Rainbow Lasts” (Soka Art Center, Taipei, 2011), she has also held four solo exhibitions at Tomio Koyama Gallery.
Ellie Omiya was born in Osaka in 1975, and graduated from the University of Tokyo, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She began to pursue an independent career after working at an advertising agency, engaging in projects across various genres as an accomplished author, stage play director, screenwriter and director for television programs and films, and also as a radio personality. From 2012 she started holding interactive solo exhibitions presenting works conveying various images and text, which are completed through viewer’s participation. Omiya has gained high acclaim for her solo exhibitions including “To Convey Emotions” (toured PARCO MUSEUM and other venues, 2012-13), “To Be Alive” (PARCO MUSEUM, 2013), and “Message from the Starry Sky” (toured MITSUBISHI ESTATE ATRIUM and other venues, 2013-2014).
Omiya’s journey as an artist began in 2012, when she was asked to produce a live drawing at the Gallery of Horyuji Treasures inside the Tokyo National Museum to celebrate Mr. Soichiro Fukutake’s receipt of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award. This first ever drawing she produced, “Celebration Melody: Naoshima” (currently in the private collection of Mr. Fukutake), while unexpectedly marking the beginning of her painterly practice, had received much attention and acclaim as her debut work.
Ever since, Omiya has held numerous solo exhibitions such as “emotional journey” (Daikanyama Hillside Terrace, Tokyo) and “painting dreams” (Shibuya Hikarie 8/ CUBE, Tokyo) in 2015, followed by her first museum solo exhibition in 2016, “Sincerely Yours, Ellie Omiya”(Towada Art Center, Aomori), in which she also presented works outside the museum in the city’s local shopping arcade. In 2017, she held the solo exhibition “This is forest speaking” (Kanaz Forest of Creation, Fukui), and in 2018 participated in “Rokko Meets Art 2018” where she created and presented “Mansion of a Widow.” The work was featured in her 2019 solo exhibition “Beautiful Days” (Daikanyama Hillside Terrace / Hillside Forum, Tokyo) along with her new large-scale installation “One Day’s Picnic.” She continues to rapidly develop and progress in her career as an artist, publishing her new catalogue of illustrations and texts, “Whale of Rainbow” from Bijutsu Shuppan-sha in February 2019, also in March holding “A Wonderful Forest” (TICOLAT TAMURA, Hong Kong) which marks her first solo exhibition at an overseas gallery.
Hideaki Kawashima was born in Aichi, Japan in 1969. After graduating from Tokyo Zokei University in 1991, Kawashima undertook two years of training in Buddhism at the Hieizan Enryakuji Temple from 1995, thereafter commencing his career as an artist in 2001. Kawashima has presented his work in numerous exhibitions internationally and domestically. His major exhibitions include, “Japanese Experience Inevitable” (Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, 2004), “LIFE” (Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, 2006), “Idol!” (Yokohama Museum of Art, Kanagawa, Japan, 2006), and “Little Boy” (curated by Takashi Murakami, Japan Society, New York, 2006). In 2007 he took part in the “Pocheon Asia Biennale,” followed by a solo exhibition at the Kukje Gallery (Seoul, South Korea) in 2009, and two solo exhibitions at the Richard Heller Gallery (Santa Monica, USA) respectively in 2011 and 2014.
Makiko Kudo was born in 1978 in Aomori, Japan. In 2002, she graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Joshibi University of Art and Design. She currently lives and works in Kanagawa, Japan.
In 2002, she participated in a group exhibition curated by Tomio Koyama “Fragile Figures” (Palette Club, Tokyo) as well as a group exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami “Tokyo Girls Bravo 2” (NADiff, Tokyo). After 2004, she has presented her work in numerous exhibitions internationally and domestically.
In Makiko Kudo’s paintings, a mental image-landscape unfolds within which both things she encounters in daily life and the dream-like world of her imagination that have formed a single-harmonized entity. Her audacious compositions are over-brimmed with a sense of chaotic liveliness, dynamic yet detailed brushstrokes, balanced vibrant colors, and the multiple settings and perspectives which develop simultaneously within them.
Her major solo exhibitions were held at Tomio Koyama Gallery in 2016, Wilkinson Gallery, London in 2015 and 2012, Marc Foxx Gallery, LA in 2011 and Andersen’s Contemporary, Copenhagen in 2010. Her major group exhibitions include “The Way of Painting” (Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, 2014), “The New International 2014” (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2014), “Towada Art Center 5th Anniversary Exhibition: flowers” (Towada Art Center, Aomori, 2013), “Body Language” (Saatchi Gallery, London, 2013), “Pathos and Small Narratives” (Gana Art Center, Seoul, 2011), “Pretty Baby” (Modern Art Museum, Modern Art museum, Fort Worth, TX, 2007), “MATRIX213: Some forgotten place” (Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA).
Kudo’s paintings have been acquired by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Olbricht Collection (Germany), Saatchi Collection (London), Flowerman Collection, the Japan Foundation and the RyutaroTakahashi Collection (Tokyo). Her monograph “Turning” was published in 2012 from Tomio Koyama Gallery.
Masahiko Kuwahara started exhibiting his work in the 1980s. He has consistently expressed a sense of absurdity with regard to scenery and humanity being changed by modernization. Inorganic buildings and sceneries created by Japan’s economic prosperity during the 1960s and 70s, dolls and toys that were consumed and abandoned to anonymity, and uncanny creatures living by polluted water, are the primary scenery in which Kuwahara himself grew up. He depicts their sadness in light and humorous ways, assimilated with pale color tones and blurred outlines, suggesting our contemporary feelings of fleeting emptiness, dullness, and loneliness, yet also enabling us to sense a mysterious kind of happiness.
Born in Tokyo in 1959. He has held nine solo exhibitions with Tomio Koyama Gallery: “Abandoned Child” (1997), “View” (1999), “Life and Pus” (2001), “Land Development” (2005), “In the End of Summer” (2007), “Window” (2008), “Sweet and Desserts” (2010), “Only in Dream” (2012), and “Bright Days” (2015). He has also hold two solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, the United States, in 2001 and 2008.
His major group exhibitions include “TOKYO POP” (Hiratsuka Museum of Art, Kanagawa, 1996), “The Japanese Experience – Inevitable” (Ursula Blickle Stiftung Foundation, Kraichtal, Germany, 2002; traveled to Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria in 2004), “POPjack: Warhol to Murakami” (Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, 2002), “Japan Pop” (Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, 2005), “Portrait Session” (NADiff, Tokyo / Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, 2007) and “Pathos and Small Narratives” (Gana Art Center, Seoul, Korea, 2011).
Yuko Someya was born in 1980 in Chiba. She completed her Master’s degree in printmaking at Tokyo University of Arts, the Department of Art, in 2006. She received awards for her work at Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo in 2004 and her works are now part of the museum collection. “I move my pencil as if I was spelling a word,” Someya says of her works, intricately drawing and coloring motifs such as flowers, birds, plants, and animals. The paintings often embrace generous blank spaces in which the motifs are given the sense of floating, releasing strong brightness as if to invite the viewers into the stories, and to continue them. Her specialized method using ink and distinctive transparency in color and texture created by layered washi paper are also attractive.
Born in 1970 in Tokyo. He completed his B.A. at Tama Art University in 1996, and currently lives and works in Tokyo.
From drawing, painting, sculpture, to “cut-outs” of characters drawn on cardboard or wood, live drawings created while wearing originally-designed costumes, as well as performance, and video, Miyake freely incorporates and combines a wide variety of expressions to create a unique artistic world that is permeated by a rich sense of wit. The diverse and pleasantly humorous nature of his oeuvre has continued to fascinate and attract the attention of viewers internationally. Miyake has held solo exhibitions in numerous locations throughout the world including Italy, Austria, Berlin, and Taiwan
His works are housed in the public collections of Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art (Norway), Kistefos Museet (Norway), Haus der Künstler in Gugging (Austria), The JAPIGOZZI Collection, Rubell Family Collection (USA), and the Takahashi Collection (Japan).
Miyake’s major solo exhibitions include “I Found Myself in the Traveling Carnival” (Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2019), “VIKING AGE” (Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin, 2013), “CALM CLAM” (GALERIE GABRIEL ROLT, Amsterdam, 2011), “There are TWO TRUTHS!” (Gerhardsen Gerner, Berlin, 2009), “Innocy’s House” (Museum Gugging, Art/ Brut Center Gugging, Klosterneuburg, Austria, 2007), “HATCHOBORI” (Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, 2007), “Beaver no Seikatsu” (Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA, 2006), “Minotauro contro Mostro Marino”(Galleria Suzy Shammah, Milan, 2004), “Innocy’s House” (Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, 2004), “The Fourth Planet Hour” (℅ Atle Gerhardsen, Berlin, 2004) and “SWEET SUMMER” (Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, 2003).
Major group exhibitions include “ROKKO MEETS ART 2014” (Rokko Internatonal Musical Box Museum, Hyogo, Japan, 2014), “neoteny japan: Contemporary Artists after 1990s from Takahashi Collection” (KIRISHIMA OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, Kagoshima, Japan [traveled to Sapporo Art Park, Hokkaido, 2008-09/ The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, 2009/ Akita Museum of Modern Art, 2009/ Yonago City Museum of Art, Tottori, 2009-10/ The Museum of Art Ehime, Japan, 2010]), “Berlin-Tokyo/ Tokyo-Berlin” (Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2006), “NAOSHIMA STANDARD” (Former Barber, Naoshima, Kagawa, Japan, 2006), “Officina Asia” (Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy [traveled to Galleria Comunale d’Arte, Cesena/ Palazzo del Ridotto e Galleria d’Arte Ex-Pescheria, Cesena/ Palazzo dell’Arengo, Rimini, Italy]), “The Japanese Experience -Inevitable” (Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal, Germany [traveled to Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria, 2003], “Emotional Site” (Saga-cho Shokuryo Building, Tokyo, 2002).
Chisato Yamano was born in 1977 in Osaka, Japan. In 2005, She received an M.F.A. from Kyoto City University of Arts and currently lives and works in Kyoto. Apart from solo pieces, she also presents works for everyday general use under the unit name “suna fujita” working with Shohei Fujita.
Shohei Fujita was born in 1968 in Wakayama Prefecture. After he graduated from the Ceramics course of the Department of Crafts of Kyoto City University of Arts in 1995, he moved to the UK. He learned glass art at Edinburgh College of Arts, where he completed his studies in 1997. He also works in the unit “Suna Fujita” with ceramic artist Chisato Yamano. He has held numerous solo exhibitions in Japan including in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Mie.