Masako Miki was born in Japan but has made the Bay Area, and Berkeley in particular, her home for more than twenty years. In her work she remains close to her ancestral traditions, especially those that arise from her association with Buddhist and Shinto beliefs and practices, as well as traditional Japanese folklore. Her current work, she says, is “inspired by the idea of animism from the Shinto belief of yaoyorozu no kami [eight million gods] who are both good and evil with a wide range of personalities.” In defining this world of shifting boundaries, Miki creates larger-than-life-size, felt-covered forms drawn from the Japanese folk belief in yokai (shape-shifters) who can disguise themselves in any number of different forms. Miki creates the semi-abstract, sculptural forms utilizing brilliant colors and sets them into a magical environment suggesting another reality. The installation moves from the three-dimensional forms to abstract images on the floor and walls, conveying a sense of expanding boundaries.
Walking around and among the large forms in the gallery, visitors feel the sense of changing perception between the forms and images as they morph and shift between two and three dimensions. The installation reflects Miki’s interest in and connection to Shinto traditions of the interrelatedness of all beings, animate and inanimate, in the universe.
About Masako Miki
Masako Miki has exhibited her immersive installations and detailed works on paper at sites throughout the Bay Area and Japan. Inspired by Shinto and Buddhist traditions, she attempts through her work to dissolve the boundaries between realms. In 2016, she was a recipient of an Artist Fellowship Award from Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California, and has been selected for the MATRIX Program at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive for 2019. She is a native of Japan and currently based in Berkeley, California. (Courtesy The Watermill Center)
January 9 – April 28, 2019
BAMPFA Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
University of California, Berkeley