Mai Miyake B-side Cat


Founded on the intricate aesthetic consciousness and sensation of the Japanese people, Mai Miyake is engaged in a broad range of expressive activities that transcend existing frameworks, encompassing craftwork, contemporary art, design, and literature. The woodblock prints titled B-side Cat portrays the months of February, June, August, October, and November through the figure of a cat. Cats have played a familiar and intimate part of daily life for Japanese people since ancient times. In the late Edo period, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and many other ukiyo-e artists used cats as motifs in their paintings. In this series of artworks, which connect ukiyo-e prints of the Edo period with contemporary social customs, expressed with traditional woodblock printing techniques, we can sense the artist’ s idiosyncrasy in flawlessly bridging the past with the present. In today’ s world, where we have become impervious to the passage of seasons and lunisolar calendars, this work gives us a chance to enjoy the changing of the seasons.


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“B-side Cat”

Print : Woodblock Print

Edition: 120 prints

Print Size: 16.0 x 41.5 cm Paper Size: 22.0 x 47.5 cm

Paper: Echizenkizukibousho

Carver: Nagai Saeko Printer: Kubota Kenichi (Kisaragi, Kannazuki), Kawai Chiharu (Minazuki, Hazuki),  Yamamoto Shun (Shimotsuki)

Publisher: Composition Ltd.


Production Year: 2021


Mai Miyake is an artist who questions the true nature of things by seamlessly connecting the past, present, and future through the intricacy and depth of the traditional arts and crafts of Japan and her own esprit. Her practice fuses together craftwork with cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, from the perspective that they are all objects made by the hands of man and are thus on the same plane. She studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 2008. Her expression, unlimited to a specific medium, flawlessly traverses different genres to encompass antique, craftwork, contemporary art, design, product making, and literature. In addition to publishing novels and essays from publishers such as Kodansha, she has engaged in a wide range of activities such as serving as a director of SHISEIDO THE STORE Window Gallery since 2018. She has been actively involved in exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Her major exhibitions include, “Omokage” WACOAL STUDYHALL Kyoto (2017), Culture City of East Asia 2018 Kanazawa: Altering Home” 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2018), “BOTANICA” Busan Museum of Art (2018), “Tea Ceremony Fascination of Art and Design Marcel Wanders, Sudo Reiko, Miyake Mai” Oita Prefectural Art Museum (2018), “Throughout Time: The Sense of Beauty” ICOM Kyoto 2019 Commemorative / Nijo-jo Castle The 25th Anniversary of the World Heritage Listing (2019), Collaborative Exhibition of the 6th Anniversary of the “World Bonsai Day” and “Saitama Triennale 2020” Yoshihiro Suda & Mai Miyake (2020), and “ART BASEL HONG KONG 2021: UNLIMITED” (2021. Many of her works have also been exhibited at craft and antique galleries, such as “Kamiari” Shibuya Kurodatoen, “A Sign” Kochukyo, and “Miyake Mai Solo Exhibition -The Summer Grass-” was held at Kakiden Gallery on August 2021. Other than her exhibitions, she has been serving as a director of SHISEIDO THE STORE Window Gallery and curator for Kyoto University of the Arts, Department of Fine and Applied Arts exhibition CROSS FRONTIER. She has been engaged in a wide rangmany other fields such as “Criterium 65” Contemporary Art Center, Art Tower Mito, “Inori” Gallery Murakoshi, “Heaven Helps Those Who Help Themselves” Pola Museum of Art, “COME RAIN OR SHINE” Maison Hermès. Publications includes “Oyasuminasai. Yoi Yume Wo (Goodnight. Sweet Dreams)” a poetry and essays published by Kodansha, and a collaborative experimental novel with Prabda Yoon “Colors” was written under the pen name Kei Miyama. She writes a series of columns on movies, books, and Japanese art for magazines and other publications. She has published a total of four artist books from publishers such as Hatori Shoten. Her latest book, “Everybody’s Girl is Nobody’s Girl” was published in 2017. She studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 2008, andi si currently serving as Professor at Kyoto University of the Arts. http://www.maimiyake.com/