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Mia O is a South Korean artist, currently living and working in Tokyo, Japan. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from Hong-ik University, Seoul, Korea and her MFA in Painting from Pratt Institute School of Art in New York. She was a 2003 participant in the Nagasawa Art Park Artist-in-Residence program, run by the Mokuhanga Innovation Laboratory, where she was introduced to Mokuhanga, a traditional print making process using water based ink on hand made Japanese paper. Her works have been exhibited and collected internationally, including a purchase award by the Hawaii state Foundation for culture and the Arts, Art in Public Places. and inclusion into the Kentler International Drawing Spaces Flatfiles.

韓国出身で、現在東京存在。ソウルにある弘益(ホンイク)大学で絵画を学び、ニューヨークのプラットインスティテュート美術学校で絵画の修士号(MFA)を取得した。2003年、兵庫県の淡路島においてアーティストインレジデンスプログラム、Nagasawa Art Parkに参加し、京都の職人から浮世絵に使われる木版画技法を学ぶ。2018年、木版画作品がハワイ州文化芸術財団からアワードを受賞、財団のThe Art in Public Place Collection に加えられ、所蔵されることとなった。以後、作品は米国ニューヨーク市のKentler International Drawing Spaces Flatfilesをはじめ、世界各地で展示および収集されている。


Nakanojo Biennale 2023 (第9回中之条ビエンナーレ2023) : Cosmographia-Tracing the Invisible land 

`The landscape of Shima Onsen`四万温泉の風景

My source of creation comes from nature and my ‘theme’ is landscape. I depict realities through my eyes and mind. When I start living in Japan, I wished to stay at an onsen and make artworks without having any pre-conceived ideas or judgements. Finally, my dream came true and I was offered the opportunity to stay at Shima Onsen, which is famous for healing 40,000 diseases, and its surrounding, beautiful nature. 

Being at Shima Onsen, I feel that diseases could be curable just for the fact of being in touch with nature. I become a part of nature instead of separated. I feel whole, harmonious and jubilant with the sound of the flowing river and fresh air. I feel purified. I express these experiences, which are like Tao, through my art.






`The Silent Moment`  @SVAC in 2021

The very center of your heart is where life begins – the most beautiful place on earth. -by Rumi

How I started Mokuhanga

It was love at first sight when I first saw an exhibition of Ukiyo-e prints when I went to the Ukiyo-e exhibition at the Brooklyn museum in 2000, while I was an MFA candidate at Pratt. I was enchanted by these print works, and I wanted to learn about the process of making them. 

In 2003, I was invited to join an artist residency program in Nagasawa Art Park in Japan.  During the residence, artists were taught by both a professional carver and printer from Kyoto. I was overwhelmed to learn the process without any knowledge or experience. Ukiyo-e prints were beginning to be made around the 17th century during E-do period in Japan.

The process was separated in three parts; 1. Designed by artist 2. Carving wood blocks by a master carver 3. Printed by master printers. However, today, contemporary artists are doing all three processes by themselves. 

In 2004, I moved to Japan, without speaking the language, and with no family or friends for support. After my daughter was born in 2005, feeling isolated and longing to make art, little by little I started to practice Mokuhanga at home, while my baby was sleeping. The best thing about Mokuhanga is that I don’t need a big studio or a printing press to make my work. And, as it is water based, using all natural materials, it doesn’t get messy like painting, and it carries no fumes. I have learned many lessons from my practice of Mokuhanga, not only techniques, but also, life lessons.

About the works

I am open to any expression in Art. 

Over the last twelve years. I have concerned myself with landscape, both as abstraction and representational form. Abstraction, to me, is often more realistic than representation. Since I was young, I have tried to visualized imaginary worlds. 

For the past 18 years, I have developed my own printing processes,

combined with different methods, such as collage with painting, origami and layered washi. I love Japanese papers, particularly mulberry paper. It is durable yet delicate and feels warm as though I am in nature. When I use mulberry paper, I want to show these qualities in my work. What excites me about printmaking is that I can get the flatness of ink on the surface and that I can repeat patterns.

In 2018, in Tokyo, I exhibited my prints in a solo exhibition. For a long time, I had thousands of reasons to hate myself and suffer. But, after an experience of being showered with sunshine, somehow the sunshine enchanted me to find out who I am. That’s when I began the circle series, which became the basis for my solo exhibition.

Nature is always teaching me both to persist and let go. Making art is the silent moment where I am true to myself and to the practice of letting go. I hope my works will resonate with the viewer, to feel the power of these feelings. 

Thanks to

I am grateful to SVAC for giving me this chance, in this difficult time, to share my work at their beautiful gallery surrounded by nature, and to Patty Hudak, for her friendship and helping with the installation of my work. I would like to thank the many master craftspeople in Japan who have passed the traditional process of Mokuhanga and its materials, to myself and from generation to generation. And finally, to my family, who always have patience with me.

`Present` mokuhanga solo exhibiton @CFSHE Gallery, Tokyo. in 2019

Over the last ten years I have concerned myself with the landscape, more specifically nature, which I feel a great affinity with.

Working with nature gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment.

I used to observe landscape with a bird’s eye view. However, I have changed my viewpoint so that I am now looking upwards towards the sun, which I believe has energised me to start producing circular prints.

Whilst I was preparing My first Mokuhanga exhibition in 2016, entitled “Pilgrimage of Landscape”, I played with the crossing and overlapping of lines. This was something I realized that was important to me: unexpected geometric shapes and patterns revealed themselves when I experimented with these line drawings.

I work within the mediums of painting and Mokuhanga printing  quite freely, with no parameters.  To me, I feel challenged because the way I approach both these mediums, I feel, is in total opposition. However I now realize that painting can influence Mokuhanga, and vice-versa.

When I approach printmaking, I don’t want to simply replicate a drawing or painting. I want the print to be ‘original’ and to evolve naturally and organically. I enjoy the element of unpredictability within the print medium.

I am glad to have learned the Mokuhanga process as it has taught me patience and clarity which has fed into other areas of my life.

Painting Statment (2018~)

When you are near to nature, you see the phenomena of its vitality.

In this exhibition, I am showing my paintings on paper. The conscious state without my thoughts is best expressed through Painting. Just as a plant or a flower does not plan for a certain expression, I seeking a form of expression that exists purely as part of its own being, as Nature intended. I approach my painting as a part of Nature, not as an imitation of it. Although the work may be considered abstract, the colors and patterns are the real feelings surrounding me, so the phenomenon of the work expresses my deep reality. I want to capture the details of minute Natural changes, such the wind, rain, or sunshine, or the cycles of blooming, falling, and decay.  

 Buy work 


Solo Exhibition

The Silent Moment, Southern Vermont Art Center, Vermont,USA 2021

Present, CfSHE Gallery, Tokyo,Japan 2019

Pilgrimage of Landscape.CfSHE Gallery, Tokyo,Japan 2016

Landscape. Basta Art Cafe,Dubai,UAE 2012

Group Exhibition

木版画と和紙ー継承と革新 Inheritance and Innovation: Mokuhanga and Washi
, 2024 Juried International Mokuhanga Exhibition
Imadate Art Center, Echizen City, Japan 2024

22 views of Mokuhanga, Elizabethtown College,PA,USA 2023

9TH International Contemporary Art Festival: NAKANOJO BIENNALE 2023, Gunma, Japan (9/9-10/9/2023)


Parkside National Print Exhibition, Fine Arts Gallery, University of Wisconsin, USA 2023

26th Kanuma City Kawakami Sumio Museum Woodblock Print EXHIBITION, Kanuma City Cultural Exchange Center Gallery, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan 2023

Printed Bound Artist book and Print Fair, Sunny Bank Mills, Leeds, UK2023

PAGES Artists' Book Fair, the Parkinson Court, Leeds, UK 2023

`10` Exhibition, Launch Pad Gallery, Yokohama, Japan 2022

100 WORKS ON PAPER BENEFIT EXHIBITION, Kentler International Drawing Space, New York, USA

WOOD PAPER INK, The Richard F. Brush art Gallery, NY,USA 2022

OnPaper Contest(shortlist artist), Tinta Invisible, Barecelona, Spain 


Paper Works, ART FOR THOUGHT, Tokyo, Japan 2022

L.inking, the Coppell Arts Center, Coppell, Texas, USA 2022

`Antithesis` Visual Exhibition, Capital Culture House based at Madrid,Spain 2022

The World between the block and the paper, the southern vermont art center, Vermont, USA 2021-2022

2021Juried Exhibition, Sumi-Fusion: International Mokuhanga Exhibition, Nara prefectural Hall, Nara, Japan 2021

"looking back, looking forward", Richard F.Brush Art gallery, NY, USA 2021

Color of Summer, 3331 Art Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan 2021

Mini Art group exhibition, Gallery 2511, Tokyo, JAPAN 2021

Stillness • Movement • Chaos, RIT City Art Space. NY,USA 2021

The Third Print: New Combination, Myungjo Art Center, Gangwon-do, Korea 2021

Small Print International 6, Online Exhibition by Leicester Print Workshop,UK (11/28/2020-02/13/2021)

2020 CWAJ Open Print Art Gallery https://cwaj-gallery.jp (10/12-10/31/2020)

OnPaper Contest(shortlist artist), Tinta Invisible, Brecelona, Spain (7/2~9/25/2020) https://www.onpapercontest.com/portfolio-category/shortlisted-2020/

A virtual Auction, LUX center of Arts, NE, USA (9/25-10/2/2020)

Surface Impression, LUX center of the Arts, NE, USA ( 6/5-8/28/2020)  https://www.luxcenter.org/surface-impressions 

100 Works on Paper Benefit, KENTLER INTERNATIONAL DRAWING SPACE, NY, USA 2020 https://www.kentlergallery.org/Detail/exhibitions/436 

8TH International Print Art Triennial, Sofia, Bulgaria 2019-2020

The 39th mini print international of cadaques, Fundacio Tharrats d`Art, Piineda de mar, Spain & Bages, France 2019-2020

STATE of ART: new work, the Hawai`i state Art Museum, Honolulu, USA (8/3/2018-9/30/2019)http://sfca.hawaii.gov/hisam/visitor-information

On PAPER Shortlisted prints Exhibition, Alfara Grafica, Oviedo, Spain 2019

Into the Fold, CFSHE Gallery, Tokyo, JAPAN 2019

Hot Bed 20:20 Print Exchange 2018, neo:galleryX, Bolton § The World of Glass,St. Helens, UK 2019

VIEW FILES:Mokuhanga (links to Ukiyo-e), Kentler International Drawing space, NY, USA 2019

Tokyo Art Book Fair 2019 Ginza Edition, Ginza Sony Park, Tokyo, Japan

In The Details, Le Deco Gallery, Tokyo, JAPAN 2019

Mini Print Biennial The sea and the Lighthouses, Centro de Arte Faro Cabo Mayor,Spain 2018 https://www.impact10.es/eventos-events/bienal-miniprint-biennial/

Reading between the Lines, Launch Pad Gallery, Yokohama, Japan 2018

Japan Exhibition, West Yorkshire Print Workshop, W Yorkshire, UK 2018 http://www.wypw.org/blog/category/currentexhibitions/

The 38th Mini Print International of Cadaqués 2018, Cadaqués, Spain 2018

Blue Exhibition, Cloudsartcoffee, Tokyo, Japan 2018

Cosmopolitan Art Festival, Taiji Kiyokawa Memorial Gallery (Citizen Gallery of Setagaya Museum) Tokyo, JAPAN 2018

MOKUHANGA, Buster Levi Gallery, Cold Springs, USA 2018http://www.busterlevigallery.com/new-gallery-32/

Green Exhibition, Cloudsartcoffee, Tokyo, Japan 2018http://cloudsartcoffee.com/art.html

Into the Fold, C.R. Ettinger Studio Gallery, Philadelphia, USA 2018 http://C.R. Ettinger Studio Gallery

5th Wharepuke International open printmaking show. Art Gallery Kerikeri,NZ 2017

Selections from the Kentler Flatfiles: New Additions, Kentler International Drawing Space,New York,USA 2017

Color: Primary to Tertiary. Site:Brookly Gallery, New York, USA 2017

Friends-in-Progress Tokyo x HNL. Ark of the unicons, Honolulu,USA 2017

Into the fold. Commons Gallery, Honolulu,USA 2017

Discipline&Sensibility. Art Building Gallery, Honolulu, USA 2017

Open Mokuhanga Exhibition. Fire station Print Studio, Melbourne,Australia 2017

Surface(s) Exhibition. Nishimachi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2017

Soul Exhibition. Nishimachi Gallery, Tokyo,Japan, 2017

4th Wharepuke International open printmaking Show. Art Gallery, Kerikeri,NZ 2016

Rene Caren Internatioal Printmaking Prize. Brussel, Belgium 2016

International `small Format` Art Competition & show.Metanoia Gallery, Paris, France 2016

International mini print biennial. seacourt, Bangor, UK 2016

Miniprint Kazanlak. Art Gallery Kazanlak, Kazanlak,Bulgaria 2016

The 1st TKO International miniprint Exhibition 2016. Tokyo,Kyoto,Osaka,Japan 2016

Art Space Print Exchange&Exhibit. Thamese Art Gallery, Oniario, Canada 2015

Greendoor-printmaking Studio print exchange program.Derby,Canada 2105

International Mokuhanga Exhibition. Yohagaro Gallery, Tokyo,Japan 2015

Using Format