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Minako Yamano is a Japanese artist based in Japan.



BA, Japanese Traditional Painting, Musashino Art University, Tokyo

MFA, Painting, Pratt Institute, New York


Exhibitions and Awards

Liquitex Biennale, New Artist Award

Thesis Excellence Award, Musashino Art University, Tokyo

Liquitex Biennale

Japanese Cultural Ministry three year scholarship for art study abroad 

Soho Biennale, New York (piece sold)

Master's Thesis Exhibition, Pratt Institute

The Art of Bookmaking exhibition, PRINT STUDIO SOUTH

It's About Excellence craft show, second prize

It's About Excellence craft show, first prize

Projekt 30 ( online exhibition

LIBRARY show, Tokyo, 2014

Art Expo Malaysia, Malaysia, September 2014

Tokyo Designers Week Handmade Market, October 2014

Liquitex Art Prize, Tokyo, November 2014

Tiny Bits show, Orange County Creative gallery (USA), Feb. 2015

”Blue” show (, March, 2015

LIBRARY show, March 2015, Kyoto and Tokyo

Berlin Move show, April to May 2015 

Ouchi gallery, New York, August 2015

"Art Wave exhibition vol.36", the RECTO VERSO GALLERY, Tokyo, October 2015.
"Grain of Rice (Un Seul Grain de Riz)" show at the Galerie Métanoïa, Paris, December 2016.

Berlin Move show, April to May, 2016.

Kawagoe Triennale, 2017.

"Art Wave exhibition vol.41", the RECTO VERSO GALLERY, Tokyo, June 2018.

”Spectrum” III 2018 show, Gallery Art Point, Ginza, December, 2018.

"Grain of Rice (Un Seul Grain de Riz)" show at the Galerie Métanoïa, Paris, December 2018.

Awarded Monte dei Fiori award 

Contemporary Art Exhibition" Fugetsusha Gallery, Shanghai. December 2018

International Friendship Exhibition Gallery Fugetsusha, Aug. - Sep.  2019.

"Grain of Rice (Un Seul Grain de Riz) Award Winners" show, the Galerie Métanoïa, Paris, September 2019.

"Discovery the one - Japanese Art" show, Abu Dhabi, September 2019.

International Contemporary Exhibition “ALDILA': Beyond the obvious Hyperaesthesia Onerica, M. A. D. S. Gallery, Milano, October 2021.

​"KAEI - Shadow of Flower" show, ART POINT Gallery, Ginza, Japan. January 2022.

​"meets!art" show, CONNECT Nagoya, Japan. February 2022.

"Neo Japanesque style Ⅲ Ⅳ" and  "Beauty of Invisibles" show in the Salon de Lã Gallery in Ginza, January and April 2022

Monaco Art Fair (Monat Gallery), June 2022. Gallery2511 Mini Art show, Gallery 2511, Tokyo. 

Nihonbashi Online solo show, November 2022.

meets!art show solo show (thisis gallery), Nagoya CONNECT show room, November 2022.

meets!art group show (thisis gallery), Nagoya CONNECT show room, December 2022

"Blue Period" show, gallery, California, March 2023.

Tamayura show, ART POINT gallery, Tokyo, April 2023.

Contemporary Graphic show, Recto Verso gallery, Tokyo, August 2023.

"hitotoki (coffee break)" show, Be=lab gallery, Osaka, October 2023.

”Small works” AN MUSEUM 2024 show, Gallery Kutota, Kyobashi, Tokyo, January 2024.

meets!Art art festival, Nagoya Global Gate, February 2024.

”Forbidden Colors I 2024” Art exhibition at ART POINT Gallery, Ginza, April 2024. 

More than hundred pieces in private collection.

Corporate commission: Net One Systems Co. Ltd.



”Cool Japan:creators file, vol.23" 2015


Links to blog, SNS:

Artist Statement 


Trained in the Japanese traditional painting known as “Nihonga”, which uses Sumi ink, brushwork and natural mineral pigments, the goal of my painting endeavor is twofold: to regain the dynamics, boldness, and humor of this style as seen in the works of Japanese grand masters such as Hokusai Katsushika or Jakuchu Ito; and to pioneer a new field by integrating modern motifs and techniques such as computer circuit boards, acrylic pouring and silkscreen printing.


LIFE series is a microcosmic/macrocosmic abstract series in which motifs are taken from various artificial and natural objects such as computer circuit boards, microscopic photos, Chinese or Sanskrit characters, or purely imaginary images.


The first work in this series, “LIFE” (awarded Thesis Excellence Award, Musashino Art University), was done as a Byobu, the Japanese folding screen style, which imparts to it the presence of a semi-three-dimensional object rather than a flat painting. Silver leaf pasted on rice paper is oxidized to achieve an iridescent color. This work carries the image of a computer circuit board enlarged to 4.8 x 7.2 feet. This greenish, waterish piece can itself be seen as a giant organism — the complex lines connecting dots can be seen as a microorganism, an aerial photo of cities and highways, or charts representing various relationships. The English word “LIFE” was chosen as the title to embrace the multidimensional aspects this piece represents: life as a being or life form, life as a condition of existence, life as an organization of energy.


The works in this series have been described as "the coexistence of paradise and hell. The theme of the series has been the uniting of opposites: pain and joy, old and new, or microcosmic and macrocosmic. In other words, it is to capture “life”. My intention is for the viewer to simultaneously feel movement and calmness, sound and silence, and color and darkness.

My other style is the MYTH series. The first work in this style, “Map of Modern Desire” (awarded New Artist award in the Liquitex Biennale) is a modern Mandala (Buddhist visual schema of the enlightened mind). The collage is made with advertising photos of everyday commodities such as groceries, cars, and underwear, composed for purely visual effect, regardless of their purpose or meaning. It is then traced and painted with Sumi ink brushwork and dye to give it a decayed, antique look. The concept is a postmodern combination of old and new; Japanese ancient painting technique used to portray commercial items typical of our modern period. The theme is “the impermanence of all things”, the Buddhism dogma according to which everything we see now will become old, decayed and forgotten. All that prospers must decline and fall. I visualizes a panoramic view of Capitalist life imbued with irony in which everything is mass produced and mass consumed and forgotten instantly. The things we see and use every day, the things we currently talk about and praise… how will they look a thousand years later? This is the requiem for mass consumption.

Ancient and Modern Techniques Coming Together 
Gold leaf and silver leaf is f
eatured in many of her works, much like in traditional Japanese paintings using the same technique of one thousand years ago. 

She also uses silk screen to print images over the metal leaf. She paints on top of it with acrylic and colored ink along with traditional Nihonga pigments, which are simply powdered natural minerals.

Accidental Beauty
I use oxidation of silver leaf and acrylic pouring to achieve unexpected effects. Sulfur is sprayed on the silver leaf and when heat is applied, an instant iridescent pattern appears on the surface of the leaf. It inspires my imagination to paint on it, and the pattern is absorbed and merged into the unique image I create.

Between Abstract and Realistic
A computer circuit board is one of my favorite motifs. “Even though it is man-made and contains miniscule detail, it can also be seen as somewhat organic ― or as a macro vision, such as a birds-eye view of the earth. It is a real functional object, but it has an abstract beauty.”
To me, the abstract image is utterly realistic, and even a realistic image such as a flower is not just a flower, but a symbol of something beyond.
Uniting of opposites is the consistent theme in my art - old and new, microcosmic and macrocosmic, abstract and realistic.



Minako Yamano presents her artwork “LIFE XXXIX(39) – Sea Clock” for the “Aldilà” Art exhibition at M.A.D.S. Art gallery. This artwork is part of the “LIFE series, which is a microcosmic/macrocosmic abstract works where motifs are taken from various artificial and natural objects”. The artist remembers as a child when she saw the image of undersea volcanic activity, she was a witness through technology and learnt about the breathing of the ocean. Minako carries the blue as the inhale waiting for green and white tones to exhale between the flowing of every breath taken by the ocean. Waves are triggered by the volume of the fire mountain teamed up with every element across its path, scanning the area with different vibrations creating blue lights to be promptly taken away to reveal us precise gold details. The activity is hidden beneath the dark waters, which Minako has colored with deep and bright blue tones in order to enlighten the ocean. Golden details remind us how imperative is tranquility after turmoil, which often brings us balance in our existence. Time the ocean, time its waves, time its life. Minako Yamano renders it tangible for her “Aldilà”. “LIFE XXXIX(39) – Sea Clock”, the artist is the witness of the deepest ocean’s “Aldilà”.

ーFor Aldila show. Art Curator Karla Peralta Málaga, M.A.D.S gallery

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