The Art of Motoko

I was born and raised in Japan and immigrated to Canada when I was 29 years old. As I was growing up in Japan, the philosophy of Zen deeply influenced my cultural and artistic background.

It is a peaceful, gentle, and harmonious way of life, which I feel we can all benefit from (especially this current time we live in). Imagine if we all learned and practiced the Zen way of life. Much violence, conflict and suffering in the world would diminish. I would like to make paintings that create calm, peaceful, and harmonious energy in peoples’ minds yet still intrigue their imagination.

Here are Zen art principles which we see in such art forms as Japanese gardens and Ikebana flower arrangements. I try to apply these principles in my paintings:

  • Eliminate clutter by excluding non essentials
  • Less is more and see beauty in understatement
  • Suggestion in design rather than to fill all of the space engages the viewer’s participation
  • Empty space ( MA 間 ) is an essential component of design that allows the viewers eyes to flow through and the positive elements to stand out
  • Asymmetry is more interesting than Symmetry. That is what we see all round us in nature and it is never Symmetrical.
  • To have humility and harmonious relationships with nature and all living things

"Composition and usage of colour in most of my paintings are based on these principles. I try to express my emotions through my paintings. What I express in my paintings are not what I see but how I feel about what I see and experience. My goal is to create paintings that people wish to have in their daily lives and which bring them joy and happiness." — Motoko