Walked around and found it


All the sounds and signs I experience in Biratori become works of art

Woodblock artist Miwako Kodama
Editor's note: The following is a transcript of an account Miwako Kodama gave KAI.
Words by Azusa Yajima
Photographs by Keiji Tsuyuguchi
Translation by Xene Inc.

"The inside and outside of a river, traveling throughout the river" — washi, 182.5 by 274.5 cm (2005)

Visiting a neighboring town 25 years ago led to my decision to make the former Kawamukai Elementary School in the town of Biratori my studio. If I had not lived here, my artworks would not have been created. In my life I have no computer or car, but I have fun interacting with local people. The people of the town look at my woodblock prints and immediately recognize the places they depict. Walking around and creating art based on what I see, my understanding of the town deepens.
When I walk through the forest or along the river, I feel the presence of the Hokkaido Sika Deer or the brown bear, and I become attuned to the visits of migratory birds. Little things I experience in my life become motifs for my artwork and nothing makes me happier than realizing that only I, who am present at that moment, can express it.

「森の中」油性木版 和紙 65.5×91.5㎝(2015年)

"In the Woods" — oil woodblock print on washi, 65.5 by 91.5 cm (2015)
21st Kanuma Municipal Art Museum of Kawakami Sumio Woodblock Print First Prize winner
(Image courtesy of Kanuma Municipal Art Museum of Kawakami Sumio)

「たこいときれた」油性木版 和紙 137.0×182.5㎝(2006年)

"Kite's String Broke" — oil woodblock print on washi, 137 by 182.5 cm (2006)
(Image courtesy of Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples)

Saru River Art Museum
The school building of the Biratori Town Kawamukai Elementary School, which closed in 1991, was renovated and is being put to use as a place for activities related to local culture and artistic activities. For example, it is used as a studio and for painting classes. Five or six times a year (between June and December), exhibitions are held of work by students from painting classes and Hokkaido artists including Miwako Kodama.
61 Kawamukai, Biratori-cho, Saru-gun, Hokkaido

Share this article