Dundas Valley School of Art
Live Auction

Live Auction [Preview-Only]

Fri, Apr 14, 2023 08:00PM EDT
Lot 1555

REFLECTION by Kimiko Koyanagi

Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
CAD$0 CAD$10
CAD$500 CAD$20
CAD$1,000 CAD$25
CAD$2,500 CAD$50
CAD$5,000 CAD$100

Artist: Kimiko Koyanagi
Medium: Paste, rice paper and finely ground, paulownia wood shavings. Pigment made from powdered seashells
Dimensions: 10'' x 2''
​​​​​​​Location: Loft


Bidding on this artwork will take place at the Live Auction event, Friday, April 14. Tickets available at the link at dvsa.ca. Absentee bids can also be placed in advance – request a form at the school office or email bid@dvsa.ca. Limited phone bidding options also available. 



Kimiko Koyanagi is a 3rd generation doll-maker from the renowned Muraoka doll-making family of Tokyo and has made Burlington, Ontario her home since 1966. Trained from childhood in the family tradition, she is one of only a few living masters of this esteemed Japanese craft. For over sixty years, she has been utilizing this traditional gofun technique and infusing her own bold artistic vision to create deeply spiritual and ethereal contemporary sculptures.



Capturing a sublime melancholia, her distinct forms often evoke an existential sadness and sometimes a profound sense of hope. With beautiful Asian features and meditative, dream-like, confidently feminine expressions, each figure is a glimpse deep into the heart and soul of the artist.



Artist Statement
I was born into a doll-making family. But for me the label of doll always bothered me a little. To me the history of the doll goes all the way back to primitive times when a doll or idol held a place of closeness to the heart: conveying or evoking a sense of security and comfort and pure human emotion. It is this essence I pursue with my art. Not the playful notion of the doll as a toy, but the more emotional idea of a doll as an expression of the heart. As a member of a doll-making family, I always wanted to push the boundaries of doll-making, and try to create a more personal and expressive and evocative art form. That has been and continues to be my life’s pursuit as an artist.



Technique and Materials
Kimiko’s technique is a lengthy painstaking procedure that is uniquely Japanese. She starts each piece by molding a rough unfinished form from a mixture of paste, rice paper and finely ground, paulownia wood shavings. After the work has dried and hardened Kimiko delicately carves and sands the doll to produce its final form. Several layers of white pigment made from powdered seashells are then applied as a surface finish. This surface is again sanded to achieve a refined smoothness. At the end of the two month process the doll is finally painted with a blend of seashell powder and water colour.



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