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Mutsuko’s art form is called kumi-e which borrows Japan’s torn paper techniques, chigiri-e and hari-e, and blends them with her experiences with batik (Indonesia), ceramics (Japan, Belgium and Australia), and silkscreen printing.
Mutsuko was born and grew up in Tokyo always loving arts and crafts. Her high school years were often spent at galleries exhibiting French impressionists paintings. While undertaking English studies in London, she developed an interest in glass mosaic and oil painting. While learning French in Belgium, she learnt how to make stained glass, weaving and enrolled in a pottery course led by a sculptor.
For 12 years, she continued to relocate between Europe and Asia, where she met many great local artists and craftspeople. However, it was when she was settling in Western Australia’s Kimberley that the inspiration came. The serene beauty of the local landscape and the magic of its light and colours charmed Mutsuko to the point she felt anchored to the landscapes. It was in Kununurra, a small town located in the Kimberley, where Mutsuko dreamed of using her handmade papers to produce Western-style images with the depth of oil paintings. She eventually created her art form, kumi-e.
In her kumi-e, Mutsuko excels at fusing craft with art. Concentrating on expression and feeling rather than adhering to a grammar learnt in a traditional art school, she expresses her views in an accessible language. Her kumi-e immediately strikes a responsive chord in viewers who value harmony. After a long experience with wildflowers and landscapes, Mutsuko embraced Perth’s multicultural environment and started to produce images depicting its vibrant life, as well as abstract images.
In 2015, Mutsuko spent 4 months as artist-in-residence in a small village in Auvergne, France. There, she discovered a new source of inspiration which brought forth a new style of images featuring buildings, streets and meeting places. Carried by her inspiration, she then returned to Auvergne in 2016 for 2 months to work on a picture book.
Mutsuko’s artworks have been exhibited in solo and group shows in WA, SA, NT, VIC, and NSW. Her exhibitions have been exhibited abroad in Tokyo, Hamamatsu, San Francisco, Brussels, Paris, Siena (Italy) and New Zealand.
Mutsuko has been awarded various prizes and has been invited as an artist-in-residence by institutions in Mt. Cook (New Zealand), Uluru (NT) Adelaide, Broome, Perth and France.