English | Japanese

Shino Echigo was born and raised in Sendai city, Miyagi prefecture, Japan. When she was 20 years old, she suddenly decided to become a painter and learned art through self- study, while working part-time at an art supply store for 4 years. In 1998, she opened “Gallery Echigo” a cafe-gallery and studio in her hometown, Sendai. From 2000 onwards, Shino created acrylic paintings as part of a nature themed series called “Cultivation”. The work was inspired by the robust beauty of the natural world and by connecting the outlines of plants, animals and insects, Shino created a flow of curvilinear forms for paintings and sculpture. The lines appeared to spring to life and multiply of their own accord. The works were shown as installation art outdoors, at Shinto shrines, and at galleries and art museums. With the advent of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, Shino’s work came to an abrupt stop as she reflected on her past works. Too shocked by the violence of nature -- the original inspiration for her work -- the cultivation series no longer held meaning for her. As a substitute for keeping a diary, Shino had a well formed habit of drawing for many years. They were simple drawings which she continued to draw diligently, even following the earthquake. Not long after, she encountered a paper printing technique. It was a good match for her drawings which were easily transferred into print form. Re-energised, Shino started afresh. She also began to create acrylic paintings based on her drawings. The figures in her paintings represent ageless, androgynous beings with a feeling of familiarity. As an only child, Shino would spend time with her cats and dogs. Communication was without words, but she never felt alone. For this reason, unique animals often appear in her works. From here, the “Full Moon” series was created - based on the concept of making the invisible, visible. After the earthquake, Shino felt healed by gazing at the stars and moon in the night sky. On a trip to Fukushima she met a man who roasted coffee on every full moon, so she too decided to print at full moon. In this series, the moon is personified. With the same feeling of wonder that has continued since childhood, through her work, Shino has encountered many people and experiences. Her works are silent, but speak to us in subtle tones.