Hometown: Saitama Prefecture
Based in: Tokyo
KITAGAWA Maiko was born in 1983 in Saitama Prefecture in Japan. She graduated from Tokyo University of Arts in 2012 and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. Having travelled to South America with her mother when she was a child the colours and culture of the Latin America had a strong impact on her childhood. At home, in Japan she was raised surrounded by nature and these childhood memories are inspirations to her art pieces.
Her recent artworks are mostly painted in black and white to express the deepness of the dark forest where animals and creatures live in. There is a sense of mystery and darkness in Maiko’s works, according to her she feels the existence of something unknown and curiosity in the dark which also brings fear. Maiko is able to combine these feelings into magical fable folk like drawings with the use of black Dermatograph and techniques of removing color by shaving with an eraser.
Dermatograph contains a lot of wax and can be used to mark the surface of metals, glass, plastics, ceramics and human skin for surgical operations. In artworks it is usually used, especially in Japan, as a cheaper alternative to lithocrayons when creating lithographs. Maiko, however saw its potential as the main tool for her work as it was pretty easy to black out white surfaces.
She had her first solo exhibition in 2006 in Ginza, Tokyo and since then she exhibited in Tokyo, Singapore and Taiwan.