My studio is located in Nishinomiya, a medium-sized city located in Hyōgo Prefecture in the western part of Japan. It is a town used as a setting in the work of novelist Haruki Murakami. Nishinomiya is also famous for producing traditional Japanese paper. It is a very beautiful place, full of nature.
I have had a large studio here for the past seven years, where I paint and create works on paper. I had searched eagerly for a studio, and eventually found this one from a real estate agency. It is on the ground floor of an apartment building. The space has high ceilings, which makes it possible for me to make many large-scale paintings. The space is not perfect. There is no natural light, and it is very hot in the summer and very cold in during the winter. It is so cold in the winter that I use three stoves to keep it warm.
I arrive at the studio early in the morning, three or four times a week. It is about thirty minutes by car from my house. In the morning, I can concentrate on making my art. There are other artists in the area, primarily sculptors and calligraphers.
My most favorite spot is a small lake five minutes away from my studio. The lake is a source of supernatural powers for me. I think an artist needs nature, rather than a city, to focus, create, and make art.
There is a small art museum located in Nishinomiya. However, Kobe, a neighboring town, is the largest port town in western Japan. This is the town where I was born. It is a town that is surrounded by nature, which unifies the city. There are many art museums and galleries here, and there is also Kobe University, which is where I teach. My favorite museum is the Hyōgo Prefectural Art Museum, which has a strong collection of Gutai avant-garde art.
While everywhere in Japan is great and interesting to visit, I feel Kobe and Nishinomiya are especially interesting. I hope that, if you ever visit this area of Japan, you will make art here a part of your trip.
Yoshihiro Kishimoto participated in the League Residency at Vyt.