Miwa Komatsu|Art of spiritual flow

A New Appreciation Contemporary Japanese and Asian Art

A New Appreciation Contemporary Japanese and Asian Art

In our ongoing series, we present the digital archive of the book 'A New Appreciation Contemporary Japanese and Asian Art' This book delves into internationally acclaimed artists and the dynamics of the Asian art market. The eighth installment introduces Miwa Komatsu.

Miwa Komatsu|Art of spiritual flow

Yuling Wang
independent curator and art critic

In 2017, I saw Miwa Komatsu’s artwork for the first time at Whitestone Gallery Taipei. I was blown away by her painting on the giant golden screen.

Soon, another encounter deepened my fondness for her art. In spring 2018, I visited Tsutaya Bookstore in Tokyo, which is known as one of the top twenty most beautiful bookstores in the world. I really enjoyed the bookstore’s relaxing atmosphere. After strolling and browsing books alone for a while, I entered the fourth floor and was immediately stunned by a huge painting. Mesmerized by the mighty and ferocious divine spirits, I recognized the artwork as one of Miwa Komatsu’s paintings. A bookstore is like a world of knowledge, while the divine spirits in Komatsu’s paintings lead me to a world of spirituality and give me a new perspective on art.

Life philosophy and the third eye

In Bizarre Happenings Eyewitnessed over Two Decades, Wu Jianren, a writer from late Qing period, used the expression “a stroke of god’s hand” to describe an amazing piece of art work or literature. A true masterpiece with such an almost spontaneous nature must be the work of supernatural powers. After seeing Miwa Komatsu’s her live performance and her exhibits in Taipei and Tokyo, I can’t think of a better expression than “a stroke of god’s hand” to describe her artworks.

Born in Nagano, Komatsu had close contact with the nature. She often got lost in the countryside, but a Japanese wolf always led her way to her home. A few years later, as she was visiting a shrine with her family, she saw a stone-carved guardian beast that carried the exact resemblance of the wolf. She has been fascinated by statues of holy beasts from that moment. The experience of being present at the final moments of animals and her family members led the artist to form a unique view of life, death and spirituality. By creating different divine spirits, Komatsu has built an otherworldly spiritual universe. Mantra meditation before each painting helps Komatsu to channel the magical realm of sky and earth. After communicating with Komainu(guardian dogs) and supernatural beings, she uses her special power, the third eye, to create her own version of divine spirits. She always carries great respect for them.

Being the subject of Miwa Komatsu’s artworks, a divine spirit is the symbol of an enlightened and transcending self. Komatsu often describes the world of divine animals as an utterly pure space. She contacts god through creating divine spirits. When viewers look at her paintings, they are surrounded by an invisible and sacred energy of the universe.

Artist, Miwa Komatsu at work

Art Creation and Originality

The philosophy of Shamanism is a fundamental element in Komatsu’s work, which is to connect matters with non-matters, human beings with god, and objects with energy. Starting from copperplate engraving, Komatsu has enlarged her ways of expression to acrylic paintings. Her artworks are the combination of Japanese history, mythology and philosophy. By using the rich cultural background as the foundation, Komatsu has created an exquisite world with divine spirits from Japanese mythologies, such as Komainu (guardian dogs).

In today’s international art market, such style of art is extremely rare and original. At the first glance of these magnificent holy beasts, one might think they are created by a male artist. Surprised by her slender figure and her enigmatic beauty, the public has soon fallen in love with Komatsu’s charisma and talent. The intricate, colorful lines and layers in her paintings have taken us into an incredible dreamland, where mysterious spiritual spirits thrive. Her talent is clearly shown when her flying strokes recreate a flow of enigmatic supernatural powers.

Komatsu started exploring copperplate engraving when she was study at university of art and design. At the age of 20, the work “The Forty-Ninth Day” was appraised with its originality and led her way to becoming a professional painter. In 2014 the artist dedicated her work to Izumo Taisha Shrine (the oldest shrine in Japan, considered as where the deity strongly dwells). In 2015, Komatsu collaborated with landscape artist, Kazuyuki Ishihara, and exhibited her.Arita-porcelain guardian dog at the Chelsea Flower Show in London; the work won the prize and accomplished the splendid feat of entering into the collection of The British Museum.

Komatsu’s artwork has a revolutionary impact on today’s Japanese art. has been active internationally versatile fields including addition of the work to World Trade Center in New York and appearance in TV advertisements. In 2017, she received the Young Artist of The Year Award and became the official ambassador for Maison Christine Dior. The number of visitors and sales from her Tokyo exhibition last year both set records.

Collectable artworks and future potentials

Collectors love Miwa Komatsu’s paintings for several reasons: her paintings are usually large in size, her theme is unique, and her collections are limited. In 2015, Gatekeeper of The Ruins(1.3mX1.6m) was sold for 200 thousand HKD at Christie's auction in Hong Kong, which was higher than estimated. This impressive achievement proves that the young artist has great potentials in the future.

In 2018, all Komatsu’s paintings were sold out at Whitestone Gallery in Taipei and Whitestone Gallery in Hong Kong. Popular among international collectors, Komatsu’s pieces have been sold out at all of her recent shows before their openings. Buyer have acknowledged her talent and her philosophy. I have great confidence in her future success.

Doing live painting in front of the audience

I believe that Komatsu’s future is full of possibilities. I am touched by her full dedication to art. She strives to create divine spirits that protect the people, their surroundings and their belongings, away from all evilness and sins. What she creates are not just paintings, spiritual beings that offer blessings to humans.

I was deeply touched by what Komatsu said in a recent interview: “Different languages keep us from communicating with one another, but art carries no boundaries or discrimination. I want to save human souls by painting, which is the responsibility of an artist. When the aliens finally visit the earth, I would like to be the first artist to exchange art pieces with them, for them, money has no value, but a painting does.”

Through Komatsu’s art, we come to realize that true happiness only lies in our souls. When we encounter different life forms in nature, a great and invisible force makes us realize what love really is. As we grow spiritually, our hearts become more and more purified. We are moved by Komatsu’s paintings because we know that the true value of her art is priceless.

Yuling Wang

Book Information
Title: A New Appreciation Contemporary Japanese and Asian Art (English Edition)
Publisher : Whitestone Co., Ltd.
Release Date : February 26, 2020

*Information in this article is at the time of publication.

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