Kisho Mwkaiyama


August 29 - September 26, 2020

Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present “22・22” (two two・two two), a solo exhibition featuring the works of Kisho Mwkaiyama from August 29 to September 26, 2020.


Kisho Mwkaiyama (b.1968 Osaka, currently lives and works in Tokyo), mentions how he has come to “observe the role and horizon of the artist who eliminates himself in serving object and matter” through his experiences of participating in an artist in residence program in Las Vegas, U.S.A. over the course of half a year in 2018, and in the group exhibition “Throughout Time: The Sense of Beauty,” held in 2019 at World Heritage Nijo-jo Castle, Kyoto. Mwkaiyama spent his childhood in Mount Koya, recognized as one of Japan’s most prominent locations of esoteric Buddhist temples, where he found himself enticed by the tranquil environment of his surroundings and the Buddhist art that existed within it. He had also learned the art of craftsmanship from his grandfather who had worked as a carpenter tending for and preserving the beauty of such temples. Perhaps it is as a result of this upbringing and background that he has inevitably arrived at the proposition of engaging in his practice as a contemporary artist, while contemplating means of eliminating himself.


The new works presented on this occasion were produced amidst the coronavirus pandemic, in which our traditional values have been forced to change in various different ways. The titles of the works, which are neologisms devised by the artist, each bring to mind a certain concept or image. For example, “22 Marugafuuga” recalls the seasons, while “Lusha 30” is in reference to the Vairocana-Buddha (“Lushanbutsu” in Japanese) that brings forth light from the universe. The artist also mentions how the small work titled “Napital 9” serves to reflect people’s views on life and death, further adding that “22 Marugafuuga” was produced as a Star Mandala. Star Mandalas were once used in astrology, and were also the object of prayer to suppress and overcome disasters or epidemics. The large lightly colored canvases not only suggest the richness of Japan’s seasons, but also, along with an esoteric view of the universe, present a prayer that considers means to restore peace and calm amidst the situation that we face. In addition, it is possible to discern from the following statement the artist’s intention to project through each of the exhibited works not only the aspect of “life” in which various things continue to occur, but also human “death” as its counterpart, in order to unveil and bring to surface the presence of “life.”


The sequence of the seasons is present in the Star Mandala

The mandala, which describes the essence of the universe, is encompassed by two worlds.

There is morning and evening, Yin and Yang, and the exquisite beauty of the Buddha

To these, the colors of spring, summer, autumn, and winter are peacefully added.

There are two in the halos of time

The passage of the grace of god and intimate compassion dwell in the light.

In the you that is you.

Kisho Mwkaiyama



"Napital 9 purple/blue" 2020

Kisho Mwkaiyama "Lusha 30 purple/black/blue" 2020
acrylic on canvas