Artist, Noriko Miyamoto (宮本 慶子) has changed the way I write my name (kanji form) in this new, Reiwa (imperial era name) year. This is because I had always felt uneasy about the stiffness of my original kanji.
My parents both worked, but during my last few years in elementary school, my mother started expecting more from me in education, so she gave me a complete set of advanced English materials. Inside the material was a picture of an European artwork and as a young girl, those pictures gave me a great shock. Since I did not know how to read English, I was only able to capture the beautiful colorings with my visual sense. This became my first encounter with art and a big influence on my life.
When I entered middle school, my weekdays were busy with school and cram school. Unlike the current educational system, Saturdays were considered a regular school day and so I spent my only free Sunday mornings in calligraphy class and afternoons surrounded by adults at an atelier of Niten (Japan Fine Art Exhibition) painters. In all honesty, however, I was dissatisfied. Yet, the only time I enjoyed myself was at my after school art club, where I sketched oil paintings with senpais (senior members) and friends.
oil | 8.66 × 10.75 Inch | 2020
$420 (without Frame )
In high school, I went to fashion buildings with friends after school and enjoyed stopping by at my favorite designer’s shop, “Kenzo Takada.” I liked looking at the display of his vividly colorful fashion and his handwritten design. “In the future, I want to become like Mr. Takada and become a well-renowned designer in Paris.” With this in mind, I moved to Tokyo and started learning about fashion design. However, because of my sister’s wedding, I returned to Fukuoka. In the end, within the 15 year period, I was able to manage 3 boutiques. With the Large-scale Retail Store Law, however, I decided to return back to the education world and with my incomparably strong spirit of challenge, I studied in college and switched to managing cram schools. In college, I majored in philosophy and learned from ancient times. In the end, I wrote my senior thesis on Jean-Paul Sartre. In one of my lectures, a professor once said, “Your senior thesis topic will come to you.” I realized that “it really comes to you.” When I was immersed in my studies, I was able to “forget about everything else.” I was honestly able to say, “Life is really fun!”
I have always loved going to art museums during my days off, but for a long time, I did not hold a paintbrush. I eventually started holding one as I managed the cram school. The nostalgic oil smell. My middle school was in an old wooden building and the club room had paint marks everywhere. Words cannot describe how much I love the unique smell it left behind as the walls soaked up the paints.
I eventually joined several international exhibitions, and met a female painter. She had several solo exhibitions at Ouchi Gallery in New York and introduced me to JCAT. NY, and especially Chelsea, was a dream within a dream and was like a place above the clouds. However, with the help from JCAT Director, Arisa Itami, I was able to exhibit in Chelsea. Being able to have my artwork seen by people with a sense of beauty in New York, made me happier than anything else.