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Mari Nishimura: Japanese artist expressing raw emotions through powerful paintings

The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
The Japanese artist will host her own solo booth at this year's World Art Dubai. (Supplied)
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21 Feb 2024 05:02:36 GMT9
21 Feb 2024 05:02:36 GMT9

Amin Abbas

DUBAI: Mari Nishimura is a Japanese painter and creative director whose drawings are often described as “powerful.” She doesn’t just draw a basic rough sketch with brushes; instead, she uses her hands to paint.

Having been very fond of dragons since childhood, she has enjoyed painting them. “The dragons I know are gentle, precious, and beautiful,” she said. “I would like to paint dragons never seen before in the world.”

Underneath the happiness overflowing in life, there is suffering, sadness, and sorrow. She desires to depict all those profound emotions in her paintings because her pictures represent such human emotions, those who see her work are moved to tears and praise them for the outbursts of the soul.

Nishimura’s works, incorporating Japanese style elements as well as contemporary aspects, reach out to the whole world with her “dragons.”

(@nanamari1025 on X)

Nishimura shared exclusively with Arab News Japan her inspiration for art, saying it comes from the things she experiences. “Sadness, joy, anger, and everything else that I experienced during my life (is reflected in my art,)” she said.

“I’m a person with synesthesia. I see and feel everything as color, so with the sensation, my body depicts the colors that fit me as they are. This is a very spiritual feeling,” she added.

After working as a copywriter, commercial planner, and creative director for a domestic advertising agency and a foreign advertising agency, Nishimura established her own company under her name.

“I realized that producing words and arts are the same thing. I like to produce something, which can be words or art, and I am currently concentrating on expressing myself through my art. My concept is consistent. Humans will die someday, and I would like to leave proof that I was alive.”

She shared that her favorite Japanese artist is Okyo Maruyama. “His paintings are delicate, but feelings of heartbreak, sadness, and joy are hidden in them,” she told Arab News Japan. “I like Vincent Van Gogh too. I’m very attracted to art from which I see the artist’s attitude towards life,” she added.

The artist also said that Japanese culture sparks her imagination. “I really like shrines and temples in Japan. So, if I find time, I visit shrines. I can see the beauty of Japan, dignity, indescribable strength, and gentle feeling in shrines,” she shared. 

“On the other hand, Tokyo, where I live, is very stimulating. Frequently changing culture, colors, and changes in the city inspires me a lot,” she added.

Nishimura promoted her artwork in New York, which she cites as one of her biggest achievements. “I promoted my artwork to more than 300 art galleries in New York. Through this, I was successful in signing a contract with an art gallery in Chelsea. Now I hold my solo exhibition every year in New York,” she said.

Following her success in the United States, Nishimura won multiple awards and received offers from the United Arab Emirates. She visited Dubai for the first time in March 2023 and exhibited her first solo booth at World Art Dubai 2023. 

“It was a very exciting experience for me, and I saw potential for Dubai and even established a company in Dubai,” she reflected, adding that she founded a company titled Painting and Calligraphy. 

“The culture is simply different from any other country. I’m greatly impressed and feel that the Middle East is very interesting,” she added. “The Middle East accepts Japanese culture. Japanese cultures are not seen here yet; therefore, I felt a sense of mission to deliver Japan’s amazing things here. 

Nishimura shared with Arab News Japan that she loves the Arabic alphabets. “I feel so strongly towards the Arabic alphabets that I would like to challenge myself to include some in my art,” she said. “This is a special feeling that I can have because I work all over the world.”

The artist is planning a solo exhibition in a long-established department store in Tokyo. In March, she will be doing a live painting and a solo exhibition in New York. In May, the artist will return to Dubai to host a solo booth at World Art Dubai again. She will also visit Dubai again in November.  

“In August, I will hold a live performance at the shrine in Japan. In October, I will hold a solo exhibition at the art gallery in New York for a month. In December, my solo exhibition will be held in Ginza. So, my one-year schedule is very full,” she said. 

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