Toko Shinoda: A Bold, Beautiful Lady

Toko Shinoda: A Bold, Beautiful Lady

Posted by Yukiko Kisaki on 26th Apr 2017

Toko shinoda exhibition

Toko Shinoda is a leading Japanese avant-garde painter who just turned 104. For over seventy years she has kept on creating bold, evocative art which speaks from her heart.

Reminiscence by Toko Shinoda (2005)

Toko-san created the painting Reminiscence when she was 92. Black strokes and audacious reds juxtapose against graceful, subtle hues. The brushwork seems quick, yet full of purpose and resolve. Like all her works, it is vivid and daring.

Toko-san was born in 1913 and studied Japanese traditional calligraphy and waka poetry at a young age. Her classical black ink (sumi-e) paintings were on exhibition by the time she was in her mid-twenties.

By mid-1940s Toko-san had discovered the power and freedom of modern art. She began producing avant-garde works with a new-found fusion of traditional Japanese brushwork and abstract expressionism.

Toko Shinoda painting sumi-e in her twenties

This remarkable lady is considered equivalent to the likes of Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso, and her works go on display in leading museums and galleries all over the world.

At 104, her mind is as sharp as ever, and her hands keep on creating masterpieces. This year, she will be exhibiting about fifty of her works in Musee Tomo in downtown Tokyo till May 29th.

Toko-san has always said her works are from her heart. The raw, confident beauty of her bold strokes attest to that.