Mieko Nakamura was born in Japan in 1952. She was fascinated by the 53rd stage of the Tokaido Highway in Ukiyoe when she was in the third grade of elementary school, and began sketching when she was in junior high school. During her high school years, she met a calligrapher who introduced her to the joys of calligraphy. She studied art at Kanazawa University’s Faculty of Education, where she became fascinated with Van Gogh’s paintings. She also took up tea ceremony and learned about the spirit of tea, as well as philosophy and religion.
After graduating from college, she worked at a public elementary and junior high school, then as an assistant for a community development consultant, and in 1998, she met the world-renowned avant-garde artist Tadahiro Ono, who greatly influenced her. While working and continuing to paint, she also continues to create works in tea ceremony, calligraphy, flower arrangement, and tanka, haiku, and essays.
She says she likes brevity, clarity, and marginal space. Where does this come from? The beauty of margins in calligraphy. In the tea ceremony, the arrangement of space and the depth of spirituality, the combination of utensils, and the exquisiteness of the space between the guest and the master. Waka and haiku express deep humor through the combination of simple and clear words. In ikebana, flowers are delicately positioned to help each other come alive with beauty. Each of these aspects of Japanese culture is subtle, deep, and profound. These are the concepts that run throughout her work. She has exhibited at art fairs in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and New York, beginning in Paris in October 2018, and her art practice is expanding globally. Furthermore, in 2022, she will have a solo exhibition in Tokyo.
“My work was born out of my daily life. The hearts that spring up every day and the hearts of emotions and sorrows make up one picture at a time. For example, the heart of thinking about a family living with a father, mother, brother and sister, the heart of nostalgia for the blue of the sea and sky in my hometown, the heart of raising children hard, the heart of traveling to a foreign country, etc. A heart that springs up ramblingly, but it is a “flower that blooms in your heart” if you are alive.”
“In these productions, I find fun among the painting materials, and the brush moves with the music, and it becomes one painting, calligraphy, or sumi-e. Alternatively, it becomes a tanka, haiku, or essay. Simply place colors and shapes in the right places, regardless of genre or material. It is largely due to the inspiration and sensibility gained from Japanese culture. In my daily life, I value cheerfulness, energy, and humor. I hope that those who have seen my work will also have a bright, energetic and enjoyable daily life. At present, problems such as various conflicts and global warming have already been piled up in the world. Now is the time to treat people with this simple and peaceful spirit! I want to tell you.”
“Neither genre nor technique limits me. Paints are mainly sumi, ink, oil and origami, sometimes I include rips, buttons, shells, beads, driftwood and pieces of metal. If I find one interesting shape and stick it on, the colors and spatial arrangement will match it. The colors and spatial arrangement are exquisitely combined with the materials that happen to be on hand at the time. This process is usually quite quick, depending on the inspiration of the moment. It is more of a flash of inspiration than a thought in my head. But in my mind, it can be a thought for myself, my family or friends, an interest in world events, or I work in dialogue with these thoughts. When I paint only with ink, it is almost the same. The lines are drawn in all directions with the whole body, and splashes are made in the right places.”