Takaaki MANO (Painter)
Takaaki MANO was raised in an environment which was fulfilled with art and a philosophical atmosphere. His father is an art teacher and his mother is a musician. After entering elementary school, he studied with eagerness and loved reading such books as the Analects of Confucius based on morals. He devoted himself not only to study but also sports. He was a boy who loved nature and ran around the nearby mountains and fields. When he was ten, he took a family trip to Florence, Italy, and Madrid, Spain, where the art of buildings and Guernica by Picasso impressed him a lot. He was an excellent student and entered a prestigious local high school. However, he could not get used to the strict school policy, and suffered from a sleep disorder. He spent a year and a half mostly in bed. In those days, he was seeking to become a philosopher in the future, but he failed his entrance examinations and gave up going to university. After he graduated from high school, he moved to Kyoto and started activities as a street musician. He associated with musicians and artists of different genres. After a while, at the age of 19, he set out on a journey, wondering around Thailand, Nepal, and India. During the journey, he had a mystical experience, socalled, Kundalini. Through that, he knew that human life was forever and the civilization of the earth would be drastically shifted in the near future. He was inevitably awakened to the mental and spiritual world. His spiritual search has continued ever since. After coming back from Nepal, he tried various kinds of jobs, such as being a helper for the disabled or a worker at a steel mill. However, he could not find the meaning in working and he could not stay on in any work place for a long time. Then at the age of 25, he entered Kyoto Institute of Design and the comprehensive program of Kyoto University of Art and Design. There he studied visual representation such as graphic design, silk screen, and photography. In the winter of his sophomore year, he could not get out of bed since he suffered from a serious breakdown. This condition lasted for a year and a half, and he was diagnosed with depression. Even after he was able to get out of bed, he lost his voice for several years, so he gave up his activities as a musician. He returned to his hometown of Shiga from Kyoto. He got Kundalini as well and he was under special treatment for some years. After he could stand up again, and while continuing rehabilitation, he started taking an enormous amount of pictures of the nature surrounding him, his family, flowers and the sky which made him feel peaceful. At this time, he started working as an art supporter at the Social Welfare Service Administration of Shiga Prefecture (now Social Welfare Service Corporation ‘GLOW’). He helped those mentally and intellectually challenged people with their art activities. Shiga is wellknown all over Japan as an Art Brut promotion district. Since there is a special museum of Art Brut, which is a borderless museum, ‘NOMA’, in the neighborhood, Mano was very much influenced by the worldview of Art Brut in his way of living and art activities.
In 2005, he attended the Adept program at Modern Mystery School. In 2006, he published his photo book, in which many pictures taken during his rehabilitation time appeared. He also joined the group exhibition at the borderless museum, ‘NOMA’, for the first time. In 2007, he gave lectures and meditation gatherings on spiritual healing, in Shiga, Gifu, Kyoto and Himeji. He also had his first exhibition of his paintings. Since then, his paintings are on exhibit every year. He joins various group exhibitions or art fairs within Japan as well as overseas. Presently, he is delving into diverse fields such as abstract acryl paintings, writing novels and essays, and publishing photo books. By having strongly felt the hardness of living in this modern society and getting sick, half of his life has been spent as a process to express himself in order to cure himself. He concludes that the process of our world leads to Taoism and, that the Universe itself is Love and Tao. His works are produced naturally, based on his physical wants and instincts, rather than technically or purposefully. Today, he transforms unknown energy on the earth into forms and colors on canvas, producing love, light, and healing through his works.