In 1988, Maria was born in Tokyo, Japan and was raised in Switzerland. She studied at international boarding schools in Switzerland since childhood, and has lived abroad for 14 years. After graduating university, she returned to Japan where she worked in several industries, from assistant merchandiser for an apparel maker, buyer for a trading company, to PR and marketing manager for a hotel.She began her artist career in 2019.
2012 Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland
BA in Business Administration
2008 Institut auf dem Rosenberg, St.Gallen, Switzerland
2006 Aiglon College, Chesières-Villars, Switzerland
1998 Discovery Bay School, Hong Kong, China
The concept of my artwork is “Streetscapes like jewelries. ” I have lived abroad and traveled all over the world since I was very young. In each town I visited, I felt that the streets reflected the characteristics of the historical and cultural backgrounds of the people who lived there. I could get a sense of the place by looking at its streets. For me, the act of painting streetscapes is a means of recognizing the world’s diversity. I present the sceneries seen through my eyes in an art form.
What originally inspired me to paint were the cityscapes of Jaisalmer. Jaisalmer is a city in India known as the “golden city” that gleams in gold-like colors at sunset. When I saw the city shimmer like a piece of gold jewelry, I felt soothed, revitalized and hopeful. The beautiful cityscapes reminded me of jewelries that retain their shine even after a thousand years. I felt a strong desire to capture them in paintings and set out to do so.
I have found the traditional Japanese painting or nihonga to be most effective in accurately recreating glowing sceneries as I see them. Nihonga paintings are said to last for a thousand years. The pigments are made from pulverized genuine gold and gemstones. The traditional washi paper and sumi inks are said to keep for a thousand years or more. One could argue that a piece of nihonga is equal in value to a piece of jewelry. While a typical ink sketch or kotsugaki consists of little more than simple outlines, my method is to create a nearly finished picture with ink wash instead and layer it with mineral colors and so on. Although the process takes longer, it allows me to express the glow precisely as I see them.
The themes of my artwork are architectures with glowing appearances and streetscapes like jewelries. I am excited about creating more pieces in those themes as well as exploring possibilities of nihonga in the context.
Instagram: mariamitsumori, thatgallerytokyo
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