Mizuki Nishiyama is a New York based, mixed-Japanese artist; creating raw, vivid and multifaceted paintings that explore the fragile human condition.
As a mixed-Japanese artist, Nishiyama draws inspiration from the East and West. Bridging her Hong Kong, Japanese and Italian cultural heritages.
Embracing deeply personal experiences to craft each artwork: the artist’s ongoing relationship with anxiety and trauma has greatly influenced her practice, and has fuelled her to confront vulnerability, fragility and the human condition. Painting is a chaotic yet meditative process for Nishiyama that allows her to make sense of the more tempestuous periods in life.
Nishiyama holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design. Her solo exhibitions include Shunga (2020) at Whitestone Gallery Hong Kong, An Exploration of Human Fragility: Love & Lust (2020) at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, and 脆い Moroi: An Exploration of Human Fragility (2019) at Greenpoint Gallery New York.
Her CV is impressive. As a parsons graduate, Mizuki has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the likes of Whitestone Gallery, ArtNext, Gallery Irritum and Mandarin Oriental. Her pieces are categorised in collections focusing on specific themes that tackles different abstract conceptualism.
In Mizuki’s studio, it is often physical and mentally draining. There is a lot of heavy duty work because she likes to work with large materials and there are a lot of nailing and hammering with woods and canvases. We are all on our solo journey for self-discovery and we can gain inspiration and advice from different people. With her work is so much about experimenting. Mizuki referred that if you don’t like the work, you can scrap it, remould it, you see it, you feel it and you do it.
Mizuki stated that her life is very fragmented especially in the terms of cultural identity. Growing in Mizuki’s household, they bounces six languages. It was chaotic and she believes that is a very similar situation in many mixed children households and they had to create their own identity category. As a young artist, her style shifts. she had to experiment and often different series looked very different than one and another. At one point, she was worried about if her work would sell or not but she asks herself would that worry stops her from painting.
The Family Legacy
Growing up, Mizuki could smell her mum’s turpentine and her oil paints everywhere. Her father practices guitar goes to different fabric stores. These memories resonated within some sort of expression for her and inspired her in the way she paints and creatively challenges her own work and ideas.
What does #DreamFearlessly means to Mizuki?
Having no restrictions of what is right.
The Role of Sports
If she is going to do sport, she wants to be on the floor and giving 100% effort in what she does. She is an anxious person and she uses yoga and meditation to calm her down. Each sport attacks different sides of a person and energy.
In the middle of the pandemic, she had a massive breakdown. She cuts off social media but she picked herself up and reconnected with her physical self. She could not see her day going fabulously well if she didn’t get involved in some level of physical activity during the day to activate the mind, body and soul.