Mari Minato

Space Parts

Dec 17 - Feb 6, 2016

From December 17, 2015 to February 6, 2016, MIYAKO YOSHINAGA is proud to present Space Parts, the gallery's first solo exhibition of Paris-based Mari Minato's work. An opening reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, December 17, from 6pm to 8pm.

Space Parts consists of Minato’s site-specific painting installation as well as her recent works on paper. Minato’s work, characterized by just a few simple marks, lines, or shapes, involves extended surfaces and the surrounding space. In the site-specific work, she applies her brushstrokes directly on various architectural elements (i.e. a wall, a door, a window). In the smaller works, she employs multiple panels, often arranged unevenly. This unique format of simultaneously split and continuous surfaces resembles the pages of her sketchbooks, wherein she records her impressions of indigenous cultures and ancient civilizations; i.e. Gallic, Gallo-Roman, etc.

Though seemingly impulsive, Minato’s creative process begins long before she picks up a brush. When she visits historic sites, Minato pays particular attention to the relationship between the environment and the traces left by its occupants over the centuries. She finds inspiration in museum artifacts, architectural details, and elements of the landscape, recording all these in her sketchbook. This intense dialogue with actual objects and places informs her creative response to the complexity of different cultures or environments. The result is refreshingly evocative abstractions with revealing figurative elements that tap into deep human sensitivity. Her works on paper, though detached from the source environments, re-captures the energy rooted in the original culture. In addition, Minato’s work is intentionally fragmented, inviting the viewer to imagine the rest. 

Minato’s own aesthetic upbringing stems from diverse backgrounds. The gestural and yet restrained brushstrokes trace back to her study of traditional Japanese painting. It is characterized by the application of a fluid and sensual line drawn on a surface intentionally left white. The acrylic medium and the dominant abstract form of her work are the result of her training as a contemporary artist. All in all, these works defy description as either painting or drawing, occidental or oriental, object or environment.

Mari Minato was born in Kyoto in 1981, where she studied traditional Japanese painting nihonga for 6 years.  In 2006 she moved to Paris and studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Her recent commissioned installations include one in Nansana city in Uganda and one at l’Hôpital Necker in Paris. Her work has been exhibited at Galerie Premier Regard by the invitation of Gilles Fuchs in 2015 and at the 59th Salon de Montrouge in 2014. In 2012, She participated in the 21st edition of L’Art dans les Chapelles. In the same year, she created several installations including one at la Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans and the other for Little Fukushima held at la Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris as a tribute to the March 11, 2011 disaster in Japan.


  • solo exhibition