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Noriko Kurafuji


Noriko Kurafuji lives and works in Tokyo and is active as a painter and teacher.Her painting is connected with the concept of "Nagare" The Japanese word nagare means a constant change or flow of time. In Buddhism it is called impermanence and considered to be the basic reality or fundamental condition of existence. For many centuries Japanese artists competed to portray the pathos of impermanence and the transience of beauty. Kurafuji does this in her own unique way and manner. Her mastery lies in the ability to render the sensation of the moment visible and to transmit the sensitivity of existence directly to the viewer. She presents everything as a flow - it could be a flow of petals, feathers, time, sound or feelings which converge into a vast hallucination of depth, phantasm of the surface.  "I was born in Tokyo and learned at a kindergarten and an elementary school of JIYU GAKUEN (Liberty School) which was established in 1921 by Motoko Hani and her husband aiming at giving a new education replaced from rote learning, and the creative and innovative school buildings of which were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his successors. The school has a piano lesson for 3-years-old children and values arts in curriculums including music, painting and so on. As I have no famous artists among my relatives, it seems to me that I had been greatly influenced by this fascinated school life. As a matter of facts, I was much interested in music in the days of the teens, and was inclined to devote myself to painting after taking leave of absence by illness. I studied oil painting, print, Japanese traditional painting and also art preservation science at the Joshibi University of Art and Design and at the graduate school. And finally I have been specialized in oil painting. My master’s production was stored in a personal collection. After completing the master course, I had worked at the Institute of Medical Science, the Tokyo University, and researched the various samples of cells and looked at the delicate micro world which is impossible for us to see with naked eyes. I think that those experiences continued giving great influences in my works. I think that those experiences continued having a great influence on my works. I am daily devoting myself to painting at my atelier and regularly lecturing about art. In my activities aiming to raise interest in art to many people, are included both a lesson of painting on a TV program and a workshop on art for children gathering at an art festival. Also, I have promoted some concerts to play the music that a composer composed with my picture as a motif. Thanking a composer, I composed paintings for the music. And moreover I am participating in such kind of collaboration with artists acting in other fields."

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"I initially intend to digest, from my point of view, various figures, colors and sounds which are perceived in the everyday life, and then try to express them as the space with clear warmth and the moment, on my pictures.
    I often title my painting "Nagare" which is a Japanese word equivalent to “flow” in English. It means a variety of flows and represents a lot of conceptions including, for example, a flow of river, a flow of the cloud, a flow of time, a flow of sound and so on.
    Nagare contains “a high context” and consequently my paintings will give viewers their own impression/imagination of vast scope. Someone would say it gives you the conception of flowers and others would image love or the sky in it. It is because the subject of my work may be a flower and, at the same time, love or the sky. "

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