Ma’arui Hiroba: Meet the Artists III



Yumiko Kinoshita did lovely pictures of floral arrangements and an illustration of what looks to be a witch. If you look carefully, you can see that the witch is not dressed in black and that she is smiling. Is she a flower fairy or a Wiccan witch of the flowers? Is there perhaps a children’s picture book in the works? Getting her to pose was a lot of fun. She made many silly faces, proving that she is as cheerful and as colourful as her flowers.

Yumiko K
Yumiko Kinoshita
Yumiko Kinoshita
Yumiko Kinoshita

Can’t you imagine these sitting on a table in a glass vase? Drooping in the heat of a hot day as the sun streams through the window?


Midori Takahashi is all about the textures. I used one of her ceramic cups for my tea, and it had short, stubby, octopus legs  instead of the smooth bottom that most cups have.

Midori Takahashi

It is too bad that you cannot see more details in these. One is obviously covered with string, but I liked the one with the beads sprinkled all over and held in place by an acrylic medium. It sparkled in the light. She rolled up the paper and made a black object. When it was sitting on a table, it looked like a black hat. When it is hung on the wall, however, it looks like a camera. It can probably be whatever we want it to be!

Midori Takahashi

The crowded town with the towers and spires was my friend’s favorite. This one I could also see in a children’s book.


Don’t you think Yumiko Nohara dressed to match her papier-mache pieces? She was playing hide-and-seek with these hanging from the ceiling when I tried to take her picture.





It is hard enough to papier mache one balloon, because everything gets so sticky and messy, but it must be much harder to do three to create an interesting shape. She must have had much more paper than I did! Or maybe she supplemented it with some other paper. Is anybody else reminded of Yayoi Kusama’s dotted shapes?

Yumiko Nohara
Yumiko Nohara
Nohara Yumiko large wreath 1500; small wreath 1000 animals 1500
Yumiko Nohara

Her figurines were quite popular. Young children quickly noticed that the cats’ eyes and necklaces were the same colours. As with most of the other pieces of artwork in the show, they were a bargain. A large wreath was 1500 yen (less than $15), a small wreath was 1000 yen, and the animals were 1500 yen each.


The mobiles by Akiko Kawana were simple but eye-catching. I very rarely think in three-dimensional forms, so I would never have thought of making a mobile. I always think of embellishment, but this proves that simple can be best.


Miyuki Ishizaki, as you can guess by her earrings and the bag in her hand, makes jewellery. How on earth is somebody who works in metal going to make something in her usual style with fragile paper? She found a way.


If you look carefully, that coloured piece between the chains is a piece of that paper that she has sketched delicate line drawings on and added colour. This tiny drawing is then encased in a harder plastic to give it strength and firmness.


It was difficult to see what the necklaces looked like by simply holding them up, so I put one on. (I had the simple white blouse, whereas Ishizaki had a darker, geometric tunic in which the pattern of the necklace would have gotten lost.) That small rectangle below the coloured paper was stamped with the word, HOME. It took a great effort to take it off, because I had fallen in love with it. It was only 2000 yen (less than $20)! It was incredibly light and comfortable to wear.

Never believe anybody who tells you that art or hand-crafted items must be incredibly expensive and that only rich people can afford them. Department stores often sell mass-produced items for much higher prices. Support an artist and save some money at the same time.



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