New Paper online:
De-Creation in Japanese Painting

My new article has been published in Philosophies and is available online.
De-Creation in Japanese Painting: Materialization of Thoroughly Passive Attitude
by Kyoko Nakamura 
Philosophies 2021, 6(2), 35;

This paper demonstrates the method and meaning behind the argument that contemporary philosophers have found the key to “de-creation” in potentiality by implementing it in artwork. While creation in the usual sense seems to imply an active attitude, de-creation implies a passive attitude of simply waiting for something from the outside by constructing a mechanism to set up the gap to which something outside comes. The methods of de-creation are typically found in representations of reality using “Kakiwari,” which is commonly observed in Japanese art. Kakiwari was originally a stage background and has no reverse side; that is, there is no other side to the space. Mountains in distant views are frequently painted like a flat board as if they were Kakiwari. It shows the outside that is imperceptible, deviating from the perspective of vision. The audience can wait for the outside without doing anything (“prefer not to do”) in front of Kakiwari. It is the potentiality of art and it realizes de-creation. This paper extends the concept of de-creation by presenting concrete images and methods used in the author’s own works that utilized Kakiwari. This orients to the philosophy of the creative act by the artist herself.

Keywords: de-creation; outside; Japanese painting; art coefficient; becoming; passive attitude


How humans produce nature: the heterogeneous and the universal

 I think that my first thing that could be called an artwork was my animal artwork assignment “Unforgettable.” This was the moment that I began firmly believing in “humans.”
 While classmates were using a free pass to silently and realistically depict animals at the zoo, I threw mine away and went alone to the wild bird shop behind the university. There, masters of bush warbler singing gathered proudly with their birds. Varied tits would learn to pull up a well bucket and ring bells for the bird trick called omikuji-hiki. They would also learn to go around a torii gate, and pick out playing cards. There was a sad white-eye captured in a cage, drawn to the lemon inside. The little singers would engage in friendly competitions, singing together. Until it was time to leave, I’d listen to the cages’ darkness. People at the store came to adopt the perspective of small birds while enjoying teaching them tricks.
 I just drew the various small trick birds one after another on paper. However, while doing so I had a premonition: something would arise that was not a bird. While putting these small birds to paper, I was capturing people as seen by these small birds, something that we cannot easily bring back today. These were not even people. Like depictions of Amitābha coming from beyond the mountains, from the other side of my pictures, “humans”—the external—had arose.
 The wild bird shop was subsequently forced to close due to the Bird Protection Act, and only empty cages were left behind.
 Now in my own way I have come to be able to consciously engage in artistic production in which things from the outside of works arise. Even in familiar places, seeds from the other side roll in. For me, painting is to sharpen this conviction—so that from the hollow crucible that is me the “other side” overflows. 

color on paper, 105×95 cm, 2002
more art works

Concept texts written in 2002.The texts included in book of her own paintings and discussed on creativity, titled "TANKURI" (Nakamura K. & Gunji Y.P., published in 2018, Suisei-sha, Pub. Co., in Japanese). This book will be published also in English in 2019.

photo by Toshiyuki MAEDA(photographer)


Japanese Painting Artist


-Born in Nagano, Japan 1981.
-2010     Graduated Tokyo University of the Arts of doctoral course.
-2010-13  postdoctoral researcher, Waseda University.
-2012-14  Part-time Lecturer, Kyoto University of art and design.
-2013-18  Research Associate, ILCAA.
-2018-    Visiting Researcher, ILCAA.
-2018-    Invited Researcher, Waseda University.
-2020-21  Contract Assistant Professor, Niigata University.
-2021-23  Assistant Professor, Kyushu University.
-2023-    Associate Professor, Osaka University.

Recent Major Exhibitions

-"TANKURI: Shooting Creativity", Exhibition for commemoration of publishing, at Art Space Kimura ASK?, Tokyo, 2019.
-Exhibition "SIMBIZM" at Suwa city Museum, Nagano, 2018.
-Solo exhibition "SAWACHI DE MOBY DICK" at Art Space Kimura ASK?, Tokyo, 2017.
-Solo exhibition "Raised Head Archibras" at Art Space Kimura ASK?, Tokyo, 2016.
-Solo exhibition ”How humans produce nature: the heterogeneous and the universal" at ILCAA, Tokyo, 2015.

photo from newspaper of "The Kochi Shinbun"

TANKURI−Shooting Creativity−

Nakamura K. & Gunji Y.P. (2018) TANKURI: Shooting Creativity . Tokyo: Suisei-sha, Pub. Co., in Japanese.
This book will be published also in English in 2019.
ISBN-10: 4801003893
English edition will be soon published

・Nakamura, K. (2010) Anatomy of Orchid: Creativity of Images and Orchids, Tokyo University of the Arts
Abstract, in Japanese