Kisho Mwkaiyama


December 1 - 28, 2021
12:00 - 18:00

Yutaka Kikutake Gallery is pleased to present “1・8・88”, a solo exhibition with artist Kisho Mwkaiyama from December 1 to December 28, 2021. Following the two exhibitions “11•33” (2019) and “22•22” (2020), this marks the third installment of a trilogy of exhibitions by Mwkaiyama featuring paintings that convey the esoteric cosmology that has served as the backdrop for his work and practice.


Kisho Mwkaiyama (born 1968 in Osaka, currently lives and works in Tokyo) first gained attention in the early stages of his artistic career for his works using wax, and since 2016 has focused on producing paintings that employ acrylic medium and canvas as their material. With an approach of regarding color itself as a material, his minimalist paintings conceived through overlaying various layers of color that are applied so as to infuse into the surface of the canvas, have received high acclaim both in Japan and overseas for their sheer uniqueness –as works that present a variety of hues in correspondence to the environment in which they are exhibited as well as the time of day. In his paintings employing wax Mwkaiyama has attempted to explore means of capturing and containing light within the work, while in his paintings on canvas he has engaged in endeavors to generate light itself. What could be regarded as the basis of both and his oeuvre as a whole is the constant quest for the fundamental existence of light.
Mwkaiyama spent his childhood in Mount Koya, recognized as one of Japan’s most prominent locations of esoteric Buddhist temples, and as a child had found himself enticed by the tranquil environment of his surroundings and the Buddhist art that existed within it. Furthermore, he had learned the art of craftsmanship from his grandfather who was a carpenter involved in the maintenance and repairing of temples. Building from such experience, Mwkaiyama was self-taught in developing his very own world of work, and while pursuing means of erasing his presence from his artistic practice, has produced works that serve as mirrors of our ever-changing world. The new works presented on this occasion also strongly convey the craftsmanship he has inherited, as well as the nature of his faith and beliefs.


The soul (light) of one’s art is a single drop of prayer within the galaxy

The moon in the heavens, the light offered from the gods to the earth, and the fluctuating rhythm of wax and wane, gently illuminate life and death

The glittering annuluses are connected to one another in a dreamlike and ephemeral manner.

1, 8, or 88. 

Kisho Mwkaiyama


Each number harbor certain meanings and implications, with “1” signifying a one and only entity, “8” having a symmetric structure reminiscent of a lotus leaf, and “88” in association to the Shikoku Pilgrimage (a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples) and the temple of Mount Koya which is its starting point.

Kisho Mwkaiyama “88 no.1” 2021