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Featured | Michiko Kanō

Michiko Kano, an Aichi-based painter, creates figurative art using oil. Her work, rich in symbolic elements, evokes surrealism, with a unique twist—Asian motifs infuse her paintings, adding a distinctive touch.

In early April, as cherry blossoms bloom, a new school year begins in Japan. In "Cherry Blossoms Dance at Night," our attention is drawn to a teenage girl donning a sailor uniform, her beauty akin to that of the blossoms. The painting reveals her sensitive mind through various elements—a swirl of cherry petals in the air, mysterious yellow lighting intertwined with her hair. Near a light bulb, three mosses gather, while behind the cherry tree, a gray sky looms.

While humans have contributed to nature's destruction, there is a growing awareness of the need to restore and protect it for future generations. In "An Important Promise," a woman with long black hair adorned with chrysanthemums faces a red snake with an open mouth. The snake has laid numerous eggs, intricately tied to human pinky fingers. The woman, pledges to the snake, a representation of nature, by intertwining their little fingers, following an old Japanese custom.

Kano's creative creature, a goldfish with an ear-shaped tail, becomes a recurring motif. In "Let’s Go On a Trip Together," three couples of these goldfish embark on adventures to Paris, New York, Nikko, and Kuala Lumpur—all confined within a fish tank. The goldfish wear dahlias as hairpins, and behind them, traditional Japanese patterns in red, white, and blue mimic water, enticing us into an exotic world.

Her works have been exhibited internationally in New York, Miami, Paris, Taipei and Japan; Paris Art Shopping Salon (2017, 2014, Louvre Museum), Artexpo New York (2014, Pier94), Artex New York (2017, Ward Nasse gallery), Spectrum Miami 2016,  Artex Taiepei (2016, Phoenix Center) and galleries in Japan.  - JC

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