New York City, NY / United States
Yuko Kyutoku was born in Gifu and raised in Aichi in Japan. Growing up beside the mountain and rivers, her love of nature and the outdoors grew tremendously. Throughout her life, Yuko has always been fascinated by images and how the world is represented through the eyes of others. Naturally, she was drawn to drawings and paintings. The interest was cultivated during her childhood period and further developed when she opted to take her bachelor's Degree in Fine art, painting, drawing, and printmaking at SUNY Purchase college in New York.
After completing her degree, Yuko delved even more into her art practice and discovered a new field, art therapy. She then graduated from New York University with her master's degree in art therapy. She currently works as a therapist at the children's hospital in the city, where she offers art therapy to support children with mental issues and severe disabilities. Her artmaking process is transformative. She loves traveling, visiting museums, reading books, watching films, listening to music, and meeting people, and she makes art based on these rich life experiences. She feels life experiences open up many opportunities and make her artworks more decadent and unique. Yuko had solo shows internationally. She had her solo show at the general consulate of Japan in New York. She also had her first solo exhibition in Japan at Yada City Gallery, Aichi. She also received Juror Choice Award from a SUNY Purchase College representative.
I use gouache paints, gel pens, and printmaking mediums to express my personal experiences on paper. I grew up in a rural area of Japan and have been living in New York for almost a decade. Personal exchanges and experiences in life are the most meaningful inspirations. I enjoy traveling, reading, listening to music, and meeting new people, and I transform these experiences into art, which brings me true joy.
Who are you (tell us briefly about yourself)?
I am a contemporary visual artist and art therapist from Japan, currently based in New York. I hold a bachelor's degree in Fine art from SUNY Purchase College and a master's degree in Art therapy from New York University. I had many shows internationally, including my solo show at the General Consulate of Japan in New York, where many presses came and wrote about my shows in their newspapers. I also received awards, including a Juror Choice Award from a SUNY Purchase representative. My works were also get featured in art magazines as well as articles in newspapers. I am currently working at a children's hospital in the city.
What inspires your art practice?
I’m quite methodical in my approach to art. I enjoy being able to document and record things by creating art from what I’ve seen and learned, from my travels, from people I’ve met, from things I’ve seen, from movies I’ve watched, from museums I’ve visited, and from memories I’ve made. Mundane topics infinitely inspire me, things we can find every day and things that can provide us with beauty, meaning, and happiness. I am currently creating many abstract gouache paintings inspired by jazz songs I have been listening to these days.
What drives you to keep going every day?
I am always very motivated and passionate about what I do. I love creating artwork, and it gives me happiness. Also, I currently work at a children’s hospital in the city as a therapist. I provide art therapy sessions for clients where I see positive impacts on their lives while creating art and showing it to others. I hope that continuing to share my work will encourage future creatives to discover what they’re capable of. Also, I hope to contribute to society by using my abilities and skills to make others’ lives better and happier.
What's the number one advice to fellow women artists?
Stay humble. Keep exploring new materials, learning new skills, and sharing your work with others.