Miki Sato "In search of Omokage"


Yoshimi Arts
Wakasa Bldg. 3F,
1-8-24, Edobori, Nishi-ku, Osaka,
550-0002, Japan
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Miki Sato "In search of Omokage"

Jun 7 (wed) - 25 (sun), 2023
12:00-19:00 (sun -17:00)
Closed on mon, tue
Yoshimi Arts


Yoshimi Arts is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Miki Sato, “In search of Omokage”.
Sato has been using “faces” as motifs for her works to introduce this world and the interpretations of its complex energy that are impossible to verbalize. In this exhibition, she will present new works, where “faces” are still being used as the main motifs, while also highlighting the concept of kage (shadow). These works deal not only with the modern interpretation of “dark aspects” associated with “shadow”, but also explore the etymological meaning of “shadow” that encompasses the interplay of light and shade.
While her production process has involved layering drawings of multiple ready-made images distributed through a variety of media, and analyzing them until the work is finally elaborated upon in an oil painting tableau, this exhibition takes a different approach. Instead of using images, the works are based on her personal records and memories, presenting a new direction in her artistic exploration.
Sato held her first solo exhibition, “Mountain Messenger”, in 2010, the year our gallery opened. This exhibition marks her eighth solo exhibition, two years she last exhibited her work in 2021.
We are looking forward to welcoming you.


In ancient Japan, the term for light was kage (shadow), which also referred to the shade cast by light. In other words, the etymological meaning of kage referred to the sparkling radiance and the actual light itself, as well as things illuminated by that light, and the dark areas that form behind them. However, in present day Japan, kage is written as “影” or “陰”, and has come to mean only the areas where light does not reach, the darkness (shadows) created behind objects when the light falls on them.

My kage and I have always been, and will continue to be, inseparable in the past and future. From the moment of my birth, my kage has always existed wherever there is light, and will probably disappear when I complete my life's journey. However, the kage of those of us living in the present has, in a sense, largely “disappeared” from the beginning. The Kage separated from light has been driven to the realm of unconsciousness, always existing within us, but without our awareness. Is that because we see kage as an insignificant presence? Probably not. Kage can sometimes be contradictory; an unsettling, irrational, and mysterious entity.
However, are the realms of consciousness and unconsciousness truly distinct and clearly defined, in the first place? The almost forgotten kage was intimately intertwined with light; something visible, yet invisible. I stand in a space where consciousness and unconsciousness merge, carefully picking up the sensory essence of kage and giving them a tangible form.

The Penumbra said to the Shadow, “You were walking a moment ago, and now you have stopped; you were sitting a moment ago, and now you are standing. How is it that you are so lacking in stability, with no particular discipline?” The Shadow replied, “I wait for something else to move before I do; the thing I wait for also relies on the movements of another. Am I waiting for something as fleeting as the scales on a snake, or the wings of a cicada? I follow the flow of nature so how should I know why I do one thing but not another?
(“Zhuangzi Volume 1”, Japanese translation and annotations by Osamu Kanaya, Iwanami Bunko, 1971)

According to Zhuangzi, I should acknowledge things as they are. However, if this dialogue were to take place between my own kage, how will “I”, as the subject, respond and behave? Could that response and behavior change my sense of self and potentially transform the distant unseen “something” that moves “me”?

Miki Sato

*translated by Penguin Translation

image|"that day" 2023 oil, cotton cloth on panel 1167×910mm(F50)  © Miki Sato


Miki Sato >>
1986 Born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
2009 Graduated from the Department of Fine Arts: Oil Painting, Tohoku University of Art and Design
2011 Completed Art Culture Master's Program (Oil Painting) in Graduate School, Tohoku University of Art and Design
2014 Completed Art and Design Doctor's Program in Graduate School, Tohoku University of Art and Design
  Researcher at Tohoku Culture Research Center (-2017)
Lives in Toyama Prefecture.
Solo Exhibition
2021 "The Face: A Paradox" (G.ART FIELD /Tokyo)
  "Miki Sato 2010-2021" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
  "The Voices of Silence" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
2019 "Have You Seen This FACE?" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
2018 "Miki Sato solo exhibition" (Gallery Tsubaki /Tokyo)
2017 "DIVER" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
2016 "Miki Sato solo exhibition" (Gallery Tsubaki /Tokyo)
2015 "in and out" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
2014 "Miki Sato solo exhibition" (Gallery Tsubaki /Tokyo)
  N.E.blood 21 vol.51 "Miki Sato" (Rias Ark Museum of Art /Miyagi)
2013 Solo exhibition for review of doctorates thesis examination (Yusokan /Yamagata)
  "STRUCTURE/COSMOS" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
2011 "1 breath, 2 contact" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
  "Miki Sato solo exhibition" (Gallery Tsubaki /Tokyo)
2010 "Mountain Messenger" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
Group Exhibition
2022 "diverse paintings" (Seibu Shibuya Art Gallery & Alternative Space/Tokyo)
2020 "Decade vol.2" (Yoshimi Arts/Osaka) >>
  "Decade vol.1" (Yoshimi Arts/Osaka) >>
2015 "5th Anniversary Festival !!" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka) >>
  "FINE ART / UNIVERSITY SELECTION 2014-2015" for young artists (Tsukuba Museum of Art, Ibaraki /Ibaraki)
2012 "-spring fair-" (Gallery Tsubaki /Tokyo)
  "Physical side II" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
  "Primitive [ in order ]" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
2011 Insight "RepetitionII" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
  Insight "Repetition" (ART OSAKA - Yoshimi Arts/Hotel Granvia Osaka /Osaka)
  "Miki Sato+Kamide Choemon-gama" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
2010 Yoshimi Arts opening exhibition "0+" @KAM (KOBE ART MARCHE - Yoshimi Arts/Kobe Portpia Hotel /Hyogo)
  Yoshimi Arts opening exhibition "0+" (Yoshimi Arts /Osaka)
  "Miki Sato・Natsuko Suzuki" (SAN-AI GALLERY /Tokyo)
  "Niki Exhibition in Spring" (Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum /Tokyo)
2009 "ADVENTURERS on SURFACE-Vol.4" (CASO /Osaka)
  "Art Point selection Ⅱ" (GALLERY ART POINT /Tokyo)
  "Art Smash" (Gallery Q /Tokyo)
  "perche" (Ginza Surugadai Gallery /Tokyo)
2008 "Shell Art Award" (Daikanayama Hillside Forum /Tokyo, Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art-Annex /Kyoto)
  "Niki Exhibition" (The National Art Center /Tokyo) <,09,10,11,12>
  "Miki Sato・Seina Yaguchi" (Bunshokan Gallery /Yamagata)
2007 "Nana no katachi" (Ono Gallery)
2010 "The Tenth Memorial Niki Exhibition in Spring" Newcomer Grand Prix
2008 "Shell Art Award" Selected
Japigozzi Collection, Takahashi Ryutaro Collection