Kissho Flowers in Blue, 60.5 x 52.5

Mituyasu Yokota: Renovating and Re-Imagining the Beauty of Japanese Culture

To Mituyasu Yokota, the time-honored kimono and obi, the sash worn around the kimono, are integral parts of the beauty and history of Japanese culture. The combination of delicate lines with a subtly varied color palette that is exhibited in those items of traditional clothing results in a unique physical presence, one the artist both honors and expands upon in his pieces. Noting the decreasing presence of the kimono and obi in modern-day Japan, and the decline in the number of artisans who continue these traditions, Yokota has been inspired to find a way to pass them down to new generations “by renovating Japanese traditional arts and hearts.”

The path he has chosen for that renovation is by using authentic kimonos, preserved by fusing the materials into glass. This kiln-based medium allows artists to make fluid, multi-layered works that marry an aura of the ethereal and translucent to a sense of weight and solidity.

In his fused-glass work, Yokota reworks many of the patterns and motifs seen in the textiles used to create the kimono and the obi. He moves his ideas forward by placing those components into three dimensions, layering the compositions in a way that gives them a movement and depth that expands the boundaries of the forms he investigates.

Trained in architecture and housing design as well as in the art of glass making, the artist provides each work with a strong structural underpinning. Elegantly simple lines create currents of motion that lead the viewer’s eye, animating each work while also radiating a feeling of calmness and harmony.

Whether he is showing us a bird, a field of blossoms or a string of anecdotal images from an old Japanese story, Yokota keeps the concepts and spirit of Japanese culture alive in a powerful, and surprisingly cutting-edge, way.

Mituyasu Yokota will be exhibiting his one-of-a-kind works in Divergent Realities from October 9th to the 29th at Agora Gallery. View his online catalog at and browse his works for sale at

Agora Gallery is located at 530 West 25th Street, and is open between 11-6 PM on Tuesday-Saturday.

Originally published in Gallery Guide, October 2015

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