Reika Nakayama

2000completed Master course of Oil painting, Faculty of fine arts in Kyoto city university of arts.
2002/4-5stayed at CITE International des Artes, Paris, France.
2003/8-2004/7stayed in Mexico as a research student of the Exchange plan between Japan and Mexico, the Latin American Association.
2005/8-2007/6awarded a scholarship from the Mexican government, and Studied at printmaking department, Faculty of fine arts in University National Autonomy of Mexico.
2014-Assistant Professor of Department of Arts and Crafts, School of Arts and Design, KOBE DESIGN UNIVERSITY

I focus on the relationships between the ordinary and extraordinary, reality and dreams, and the exterior and interior; and at the same time, I am intrigued by their ambiguity.
While maintaining bold contrasts on the canvas through the unique combination of black and a variety of colors, I use a contradictory technique of drawing with a pencil over the matte black paint as well as the visual effects produced by delicate line drawing in an attempt to visibly portray the connection between human thought and obscurity on the canvas, and the world created by this mixture.
I believe that these artistic approaches provide me with the knowledge I need at the moment to be able to observe the state of this world from a higher perspective.

From Mexico

One of Reika Nakayama’s bases lies in Mexico, where she spent seven years of her life.
After completing her Master’s degree and engaging in a teaching job for two years, Nakayama decided to stay away from the arts for a while. She set out on a long journey that started in Mexico.
Soon after she arrived there, she realized that she could not make herself understood in English. She therefore studied Spanish in Mexico before making her way down to South America. She found herself gradually surrounded by friends creating artistic works, and was inevitably drawn back to the world of art.
Her works from the past several years reveal the nature and mood of Mexican people that Nakayama encountered during her seven-year stay there. They more or less relate to one another in that there are two sides to these works, whether they be the people’s happy nature juxtaposed against the history of aggression that casts a pall over the nation; reality versus illusion; or modernity mixed with indigeneity.

Two-canvas pieces

Nakayama’s series of works includes two-in-one pieces.
It started with a work entitled “yume-utsutsu/Half-dreaming,” which was completed in 2008.
The left-hand canvas shows a cell, or what is inside of the deer painted on the right-hand canvas. Basically, the left-hand canvas shows the inside of the object and the right-hand canvas how the object is perceived from outside. The work consists of two canvases that emphasize this particular combination.
Her “black-on-black” technique, in which she draws with black pencil over the part of canvas painted in black with a colorful background, was created because she was intrigued with expressing contradiction on a single canvas. What is contradictory when expressed in words can be linked on a canvas.


The unconscious, intuition, and coincidence

Nakayama’s first two-canvas piece.
Looking at this piece of art, her Mexican friend said, “The cell-like object on the left-hand canvas looks like a cross section of a peyote. If you eat peyote, you will experience hallucinations, in which you may do things like going up the mountains with a shaman. The deer will guide you to the right path.”
She knew about peyote, but was not familiar with the story behind it. The painting she completed with Mexico in her mind may have been coincidentally connected to a story such as this.
Coincidence born out of the unconscious. She wishes to focus on the unconscious, intuition, and coincidence while creating her works.

(Excerpt from an interview posted on Clippin JAM)

Solo Exhibitions

2022「Intertwined daily life」MORI YU GALLERY KYOTO
2020“Night sky story”MORI YU GALLERY, KYOTO
2019“Portraits”Galeria Ramón Alva de la Canal , Xalapa MEXICO
2017“Landscape swaying”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
2015“Shiba became a Deer”Pinpoint Gallery,TOKYO
2014“The morning star”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
2013“Being near and far”South Gallery of Dai-ichi-life,TOKYO
2012“A stellar hill”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
“Sleeping diary -to paradise-“MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
2011“Sleeping diary”Roppongi Hills A/D GALLERY,TOKYO
2010“Furikaeru,tosonomukouni”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
“Furikaeru,tosonomukouni”MORI YU GALLERY,TOKYO
2008“yume-utsutsu”MORI YU GALLERY,TOKYO
2004“VACIO”The cultural information center, the Embassy of Japan in Mexico/Mexico
2003“FALDA”Masmedula galeria/Mexico

Group Exhibition

2023「2023【Hand On】」Art Gallery @KCUA, Kyoto City University of Arts
2022VOCA 30 Years Story/TokyoMain office Building of Dai-ichi-life 1f ,TOKYO
2022Participated in Kobe Design University Art Project 2022 by KAGAWA Prefecture cooperation of Setouchi Triennale 2022
Work “Striped sea”
Saewall of Kitaura, Sei-cho, Sakaide city, Kagawa
2021“-Dialogue- 2021” Exhibition by Department of Arts and CraftsGallery Serendip at Kobe Design University, HYOGO
2021Constellatio The world of stars and small food stallC.A.P./KOBE STUDIO Y3,
3rd floor, Kobe Center for Oversease Migration and Cultural Interaction, Hyogo
2020Shinking of ART. Kobe Design University Art ProjectTakamatsu Shinkin bank old Sakaide branch, Kagawa
2020Collection: The Aesthetics of Contemporary JapanThe National Museum of Art, Osaka
20195BAN Winter’s Exhibition BroochGallery 5BAN, Hyogo
2019Proyecto Bosque de Niebla/ JAPOMEXXalapa, MEXICO
2019Participated in Kobe Design University Art Project 2019 by KAGAWA Prefecture cooperation of Setouchi Triennale 2019
Work “Striped sea”
Saewall of Kitaura, Sei-cho, Sakaide city, Kagawa
2018“Power of Arts, Dream of Crafts”Kobe Design University,Gallery Serendip, HYOGO
2018“ALL VOCA The Vision Of Contemporary Art 25th Anniversary Planning”Main office Building of Dai-ichi-life 1f ,TOKYO
2017“EXHIBITION Artists Work of Kobe Design University Department of Arts and Crafts”Galeria Fernado Vilchis Universidad Veracruzana Instituto de Artes Plasticas, Mexico
2016“50th Anniversary of the Bienále Ilustrácií Bratislava: 50 Years of Illustrated Books – Up to Now and From Now On”Urawa Art Museum, Chiba
“Clear and Present View”Gallery Serendip at Kobe Design University, HYOGO
Setouchi Triennale 2016 / Work “Las Islas – shima shima”
Participated in the Shamijima Art Project supported by Kobe Design University
Former Shami Elementary and Junior High School, Kagawa
2015“Biennale of Illustrations in Bratislava”BIBIANA, International House of Art for Children, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
2014“Creature Wonderland”Kobe Design University,Gallery Serendip,HYOGO
2013“GIFT”SferaBuilding Exhibition, KYOTO
2012“2012Biennial Arts and Crafts”THE MUSEUM OF KYOTO
“Collection”The National Museum of Art,OSAKA
“Collection”South Gallery of dai-ichi-life,TOKYO
“New Contemporaries”Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery @KCUA1@KCUA2 Gallery B,KYOTO
2011“Undulationism”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
“VOCA 2011 – Artists on New Plain- “The Ueno Royal Museum TOKYO
2010“Garden of Painting -Japanese Art of the 00s”The National Museum of Art,OSAKA
2008“Bunkamura Art Show 2008″Fear to Familiar”Bunkamura Gallery,TOKYO
2007“EXPO Generacion 2005-2007”Academia de San Carlos ENAP!YUNAM/Mexico
Exposicion colectiva Japon Mexico Japonla Galeria cafe HIRVANA/Mexico
Primere muestra de grafica international de academiaCasona de la estacion,the state of Michoacan/Zitacuaro,Mexico
Exposicion colectivathe Embassy of Cuba in Mexico/Mexico
“Los Takatakas”the cultural information center, the Embassy of Japan in Mexico/Mexico
2006“Vision Contemporanea”Galeria Tnonalii del Centro Cultural Ollin Yolizti/Mexico
Juntas y revueltas/mujeres en la plastic mexicanaThe Municipal Museum in Mexico
2005“Date tinta/grabado urbano”The Municipal Museum in Mexico
“Let’s look for Florence in Nishiki Ichiba vol.2”Nishiki Ichiba/KYOTO
“Let’s look for Florence in Nishiki Ichiba”Nishiki Ichiba/KYOTO
“Lost something?”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
2004“The garden of yellow”MORI YU GALLERY,KYOTO
2003“Mujeres de Japon en Mexico”Mexican Art Academy/Mexico
2002“Presencia de Japon en Mexico”el Casa del Lago/Mexico
“Mexico”Chopo Museum/Mexico
2001The library video exhibitionGallery sowaka/KYOTO
“Drowing 2001/part1”Gallery sowaka/KYOTO
2000    “Oneday Gallery Project”Gallery sowaka/KYOTO

Art Fair

2022Art Fair Tokyo 2022Tokyo International forum,TOKYO
2019ART OSAKA 2019 Exhibition PLUS Room#6126Hotel Granvia OSAKA 26F, OSAKA
2013Art Stage Singapore 2013Marina bay sands/Singapore
2008Art Agnes 2008Agnes Hotel and Apartment/TOKYO
Art in Dojima Osaka 2007Dojima Hotel/OSAKA
ART FAIR TOKYO 2007Tokyo International forum,TOKYO
Art Agnes 2007Agnes Hotel and Apartment/TOKYO
2006Art in CASO 2006Kaigandori Gallery CASO/OSAKA
2005Art in CASO 2005Kaigandori Gallery CASO/OSAKA
ART FAIR TOKYO 2005Tokyo international forum/TOKYO


2017 Decorative cooperation “SORA FES 2017 -Let’s play facing up-“

Public Collection

The National Museum of Art, OSAKA
Dai-ichi Muyual Life Insurance Company


“A Certain Planet”
2011 The top prize the VOCA.

The world leads from outside to inside and then outside again.
From time to time, I suddenly recall a bright blue sky on a sunny day in Mexico and vaguely feel that what I thought was mundane has turned into something rare.
I often get asked why I chose Mexico, to which I find myself stating that any place would have done, but Mexico just sat well with me and I ended up making a prolonged visit. Even now, I am not sure what kept me there. However, a “hollow” remains in myself as a proof of my time in Mexico.
When I came back to Japan after seven years in Mexico, some time passed without my knowing what to do, which is a common consequence of this kind of experience. However, this “hollow” helped me gradually find what I wanted to draw. I decided to continue painting while entering and leaving this “hollow.” I believe that this process helped me complete some of my works entitled “Safarism.” This is in a way an exploratory behavior. “A Certain Planet” was also created through this process.
It is an expedition into the “hollow” present in myself. This “hollow” might lead to somewhere else or may eventually close up. At the moment, it seems to be expanding.

I think I will continue with this process for a little longer. I believe it may provide some clues to my contemplations about relationships between the regular and irregular, reality and dreams, and outside and inside.
(Excerpt from Nakayama’s comments upon receiving the VOCA Award)


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