Mizuki Nishiyama Itako, 2021

Charcoal on Paper

Dimensions: 8.3” x 11.3” [21cm x 29.7cm]





Add to Cart Added to Cart Adding to Cart Sold Out All in cart


+ -

イタコ or “Itako” are blind women who train to become spiritual mediums in the region of Aomori, Japan. Their power is the ability of being able to see beyond the physical; regardless of reality, is a trait that can provide a certain type of enlightenment. Taking the literal term “Itako”, the spiritual, paranormal elements are retained. Yet the philosophy of inner sight, and extreme rituals performed within our everyday lives are the core focus of this piece.

Mizuki Nishiyama is a New York based, mixed-Japanese artist whose vivid and multifaceted paintings and drawings explore the fragile human condition. 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.

The artworks presented exclusively on Her Clique by Mizuki Nishiyama focus on the intimate journey as a woman. This is the artist’s first time sharing charcoal sketches, allowing a glimpse into how she pieces her tumultuous journey on paper.

“Charcoal on Paper is a medium that feels so much more intimate than paint on canvas. The approach is extremely rigid and immediate. I feel an urge to be more decisive when using charcoal. The hardness of the material, yet also the looseness of each particle that may fall with each stroke, the medium feels equally strong and fragile. These works are from my visual diary, and I feel ready to share that very private side of me.”

Nishiyama's journey as a woman takes into account the beautiful and the grotesque, the haunting and the alluring. Each work pays homage to the gentleness, ferocity, pain, excitement and bountyness that comes with the female experience.

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.

10% of the sales proceeds will be donated to I Am Womankind, an organization focused on providing multilingual and culturally-responsive support to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual violence.