Youka Kokotama (Mixed Media)
Youka was born in Tokyo.
Raised in a creative environment by parents who work in the fashion industry, she decided to study art in university to expand her creativity and broaden her perspective.Youka studied at Boston University in her first year then transferred to New York University from her sophomore year. She graduated New York University (BFA) in 2011 with honors.After coming back to Japan, Youka worked as an art director, illustrator and designer, but she could not let go of her strong aspiration for art.Spending time away from Japan, Youka became to see and appreciate her own country from a different perspective. This led to her greater interests in her own Japanese culture, tradition, religion, and way of thinking. She was touched especially by old Buddhism sculptures of Kannon (Bodhisattva), which have long been loved, treasured and passed down through history. Kannon has become Youka’s important source of inspiration for her works.In 2013, Youka resolved to launch her career as a painter and held her first solo exhibition. Her paintings show her unique sense of design and colors achieved through her creative background. Youka attempts to go beyond the Buddhism concept that inspires the modern society and resonates in the heart.Youka also creates interesting artwork called Kokotama. Kokotama literally means heart-jewel in Japanese. It is Youka’s original artwork, which is a small painting on water droplet-shaped wood. Youka's Kokotama represents a drop that reflects one’s own heart.