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Miwa Komatsu’s First Live Painting in London

Avant Arte is bringing Japanese artist Miwa Komatsu’s practice to the UK with her first live painting in the capital, in the historic setting of Fitzrovia Chapel tomorrow Tuesday 11th June 2024.

Miwa Komatsu’s First Live Painting in LondonMiwa Komatsu’s First Live Painting in London
Fitzrovia Chapel 2024, courtesy of Avant Arte © Ollie Tomlinson

For me, the act of drawing is a form of prayer, and the process of drawing is meditation. Drawing in this magnificent Chapel is the role my soul seeks, and it’s not just an event but a sacred ritual. It’s all predetermined destiny. I believe that art is a medicine that heals the soul and mind. On the day, I hope to share a wonderful time and experience with you, which will culminate in the completion of a single painting. I hope my process of painting as I feel the energy of everyone watching behind me, can help dispel even a little of the darkness in your heart. Through collaboration with Avant Arte, I hope to experience something like a gentle light shining into the church with many people from around the world.

Miwa Komatsu

In keeping with its mission to make art radically more accessible, Avant Arte will live stream the performance for art lovers around the world to follow in real-time on avantarte.com, introducing them to Komatsu’s practice. Collectors will have the opportunity to acquire a print edition of the new work for 48 hours from the moment that her brush touches the canvas.

Well-known in her native Japan and surrounding territories Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong, Komatsu seeks to translate spirituality through her artworks. Drawing on familiar characters from Japanese folklore, Shinto mythology and Buddhism, dreamlike visions and spirits abound in her canvases to create her own unique philosophy she calls ‘The Great Harmonisation’. From Shinju, traditional Japanese mythological creatures found in shrines to her own visions of the folkloric creature of Yamainu, the wolf-spirit who guided her home as a child, Komatsu aims to record the unseen and eternal world for posterity. While Komatsu is best known for her paintings and porcelain sculptures, she has explored a wide range of media in her practice including copper etchings and virtual reality experiences. Her work is held in collections around the world including the British Museum, World Trade Center and Nagano Prefectural Art Museum.

Her performance at Fitzrovia Chapel this summer marks the first time she will paint live in the UK, following on from performances at Itsukushima Shrine in Japan, Bongeunsa Temple in South Korea, and most recently at Mont Saint Michel Abbey, France. Komatsu selects locations for her live painting carefully in order to draw on the spiritual and historic associations of each.

From the beginning of the live painting, for 48 hours only, a print of the original artwork will be available to buy exclusively on avantarte.com.

We are honoured to be working with Miwa to host her first live painting in the UK in the historic setting of Fitzrovia Chapel. Miwa is one of Japan’s most exciting contemporary artists. We’re thrilled to be able to bring her spectacular work to a wider audience, introducing our global community of over 3 million art lovers to her work and painting practice. It’s going to be a very special moment and we look forward to welcoming everyone on 11th June.

Christian Luiten, Co-founder and Head of Artist Community, Avant Arte,

About the artist

Miwa KomatsuMiwa Komatsu
Miwa Komatsu, 2023 Photo Niko Wu

Miwa Komatsu was born in Nagano, Japan in 1984. She lives and works between Nagano and Tokyo. Komatsu is best known for her paintings and porcelain sculptures, alongside which she has explored a wide range of media in her practice including copper etchings and virtual reality experiences. Alongside exhibitions and events, she has begun to paint live in historically important sites, drawing inspiration from specific sites. She was appointed an Ambassador of Goodwill by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan in 2021, in recognition of the central importance the natural world plays in her practice and the attention she has drawn to it in public life. @miwakomatsu_official

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Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine –