"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. Now is the time to treat people with this simple and peaceful spirit! I want to tell you."
Born 1952 in Japan, Mieko Nakamura 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. Mieko also took up tea ceremony and learned about the spirit of tea, as well as philosophy and religion.
After graduating from college, Mieko 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.
Mieko 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.
Mieko 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. In 2022, she will have a solo exhibition in Tokyo.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist