Meet the On-line Artist // Akiko Kuniyoshi

Akiko Kuniyoshi has been honing her craft as a painter for over two decades, drawing inspiration from everyday encounters and infusing them with her perspective and aesthetic sensibility. While her origins lie in Japan, her work transcends national boundaries, challenging viewers to discern the artist’s roots solely from her paintings.


Who are you?

I was born and live in Kochi, Japan. I studied art at the university in Tokyo. After that I came back here and have been teaching art to children for about 20 years.

My feeling is that I have a little sense of being Japanese. First of all, Kochi is so far from Tokyo. I have a limited community; my husband and I are also Japanese from this area. Even going back 17 generations from my father, they are all Japanese from this area.

Secondly, I can not feel the effects of various wars going on in the world in my daily life, which are so peaceful and comfortable.

How would you describe your artistic practice?

I get a sharp movement of my mind like intuition from ordinary things, transform the image in my brain based on my own experience and aesthetic sense, attempt to sketch it on paper, and reconstruct it on canvas. At first glance, the viewer may not know what the content is at all, but the title will provide a hint. These actions may be formats that have already been done to death in terms of art history, but I consider them to be ubiquitous. Furthermore, although my origins are in Japan, it is difficult to find anything Japanese in my work. I experiment with producing paintings that are hard for the viewer to determine the nationality or roots of the artist when they are confronted with my work.


What is your methodology or process for creating a new project?

My process for creating a new project; repeatedly writing down different words about emotions associated with the act of painting.


Tell us about the project you are working during your online residency at GlogauAIR

I am working to find out more about what I am painting, to talk about it more specifically, and to improve my English language skills.


What is the meaning of creating a painting for you?

It means that I create to know myself, to comfort myself, and to find a way to connect with the world.


How did you start to get involved in art and creation?

I read a comic when I was 13 and realised that it was the author’s way of expressing himself. Since then I have found that novels, films, and music are all the same. I wanted to work on the giving side, not the receiving side.


Where would you like to see your work in the future?

Hopefully I would love to exhibit in an international space.