Introducing Lumi Mizutani

04 October 2014

Introducing Lumi Mizutani

Artist Lumi Mizutani draws the resources of her artistic expression from the japanese pictorial tradition. Her ink drawings and her paintings with pigments extend this heritage, and, through constant experimentation, carry her towards new horizons.


  • Left: Musique (ink on paper, 2013)

Right: Réversible (ink on paper, 2013)

For a few years now Lumi Mizutani's work has revolved around the duality between abstract and figurative, black and colour, the spontaneity of the gesture (the ink painting) and the patient composition work (the painting with pigment). Thanks to these antagonisms this painter and lithographer finds the necessary and complementary resources to express herself.

Her indian ink designs are the culmination of a journey that has lasted more than 10 years, which has led the artist from lithography to wash drawing techniques. The central role of water in these two techniques allowed her to explore all the possible interactions between liquid, ink and paper. The intimate knowledge of each of these elements is today reflected in her abstract compositions: the brush strokes interact with the ink-rich water on the paper, sending the spectator's gaze on a journey following this dual choreography.

The colour paintings come from a completely different angle: more figurative and also more static, these small and medium sized paintings overcome the rigidly coded world of traditional Japanese painting. According to the artist, it is a way of inviting the spectator to the heart of the painting, no longer following the journey on the surface but diving to its very depths.


  • Left: Bois (ink and pigments on paper, 2013)

Right: Eté (ink and pigments on paper, 2014)

Born in Nagoya in Japan in 1948, Lumi Mizutani now lives and works in Paris. She studied at the Waseda university in Tokyo before coming to France in 1973 to attend classes at the Etienne Decroux school of mime. Very rapidly she leans toward lithography then to wash drawing. As of 2006, she returns often to Japan to learn ink painting under Zou Tao and Japanese painting with Shigemasa Kawai both masters of their craft. Her artistic language feeds off these traditions and the artist perpetuates and renews in experimenting with techniques and materials which do not conform to tradition. Lumi Mizutani's work is regularly exhibited in France and abroad. In 2012, the Written Foundation of Frankfurt acquired six of her "calligraphy" paintings.

Below, some photos taken during our visit to Lumi Mizutani's workshop:




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