Interview: Yuka Mori


Apr 22,2024

Yuka Mori (b. 1991) is an artist from Shiga, Japan. Yuka Mori reinterprets traditional Japanese concepts through her painting and makes physical expression into the 2D painting that is rooted in the Japanese traditional painting style. 

We interviewed her about her creation and herself.

What was your upbringing? 

I grew up at the foot of Mt. Hiei in Shiga Prefecture, surrounded by Lake Biwa and mountains, where I could clearly feel the changing seasons. It was a place with many shrines and temples, where I felt close to Buddhist teachings.

When you grew up, what was your interest as a child/adult?

I’ve always enjoyed drawing since I was little. During middle school, I watched a lot of movies. In high school, I was passionate about dance, which sparked my interest in bodily expression. From there, my interest in dance connected with my sense of body and my love for drawing, leading me to where I am today.

How did your career as an artist begin? 

I entered an art university to study Japanese painting, but I didn’t have the determination to live as an artist. Shortly after starting university, I began drawing animals like rabbits and monkeys with brush strokes, also using it as practice. This led me to start drawing picture books, which gradually led to more illustration work. I started balancing my work as a painter with that of an illustrator, and before I knew it, the proportion of my work as an artist increased.

What is your inspiration? 

I’m influenced by various things in my daily life. The atmosphere of my paintings changes with environmental factors like temperature and humidity.

Who is your favorite artist?

There are many artists I admire, so it’s hard to narrow it down, but I particularly like Maya Deren, who was an avant-garde filmmaker, and Bill Viola, a video artist. The book “Japanese Bodies” by the Noh performer Toh Yasuda has had the biggest influence on me so far. This book seems to articulate all the bodily sensations I’ve been feeling.

What excites/fascinates you the most when you create your work?

It’s when I’m able to draw tense lines, and when the artwork is completed before I even realize it. It’s not so much the sense of accomplishment from finishing it myself, but more like when the artwork itself tells me, “It’s almost ready.”


Born in Shiga Prefecture in 1991. After graduating from the Kyoto City University of Arts Graduate School of Fine Arts, majoring in Japanese paintings, she has been based in Kyoto. By blurring the relationship between the ground and the figure of a painting based on his own experiences, he expresses the physical expressions that are common in daily life with the lines and pigments unique to Japanese paintings.

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