in Tokyo / Japan
02.04.2022 - 30.04.2022 00:00
Midori Sato - Floating Drapery

Tomio Koyama Gallery is pleased to present Midori Sato’s solo exhibition “Floating Drapery.” The exhibition features a selection of the artist’s new paintings including an ambitious large-scale work measuring over two-meters.

Midori Sato’s works are characterized by their depictions of closets packed full of colorful clothes, an array of high-heeled shoes on shelves, carpets, vivid assortments of flowers, and fruit. Sato expresses sincere fondness for such motifs that many likely consider beautiful, and while depicting her yearning and affection in a straightforward manner, presents them as contemporary manifestations of elegance and worlds of fantasy in her paintings through the overlaying of vibrant colors and rich imagination.

However, it can be said that the appeal of Sato’s work lies not only in its beautifully figurative aspect, but also the bold brushstrokes that dynamically unfold across the surface of the large canvas, as well as the remarkable composition of her paintings.

“It is true that the motifs Sato depicts tend to have widespread appeal. Yet upon closer observation, one comes to realize that her brushstrokes are bold and ferocious, reminiscent of those of abstract expressionism. The essence of Sato’s work may indeed be misunderstood if only judging by their first impression. While seemingly presenting themselves as that which appeals to the masses, a contradictory sense of prettiness and wildness in fact coexist. This is precisely, the foremost attraction of Sato’s work.” (Masaki Higuchi, “Midori Sato: Eternal Moment,” Hanatsubaki Column, Shiseido, December 2016)

Another interesting aspect is that while Sato depicts the same motifs repeatedly, the way in which she paints them changes depending on her mindset and the emotions she feels from what she sees at each particular moment.

“The closets are not those that belong to any specific person, but are my very own imagination. I want people who view my paintings to perceive them in a more wide and open manner. They didn’t have to look like closets, and it didn’t matter if they were simply seen as a succession of beautiful colors. For this reason, there was a time in which my work had ventured more towards the abstract. (…) Four years ago I had resided in Paris for a year on the Overseas Study by Young Artists program supported by POLA Art Foundation. During that time I often took walks around the city of Paris, and gained a lot of inspiration from window displays of the various clothing boutiques that lined its streets. I took photographs of them and made them into paintings. It was my first experience painting actual scenes that I had seen in my work, and thus signified a slight return to more figurative depiction.” (Midori Sato Interview: “Artist Midori Sato’s Philosophy on Closets: Opening the Doors of One’s Own Means of Expression,” GINZA, Magazine House Ltd., July 2021)

Midori Sato was born in 1984 in Aichi Prefecture. She graduated from Oil Painting Course, School of Art, Nagoya University of Arts in 2008, and studied at Ecole nationale des beaux arts de Dijion, France as an exchange student. She received M.F.A from Graduate School of Tokyo Zokei University in 2010. She studied in Paris as a recipient of the POLA Art Foundation award for overseas research in 2017.

Gallery hours 11 pm – 6 pm, closed Sun, Mon, National Holidays


Tomio Koyama Gallery Tennoz
Terrada Art Complex Ⅰ 4F, 1-33-10, Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
140-0002 Tokyo


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