Fumiyo Yoshikawa: Biography

Born in the ancient capitol of Kyoto, also called a Thousand Years Capital, Fumiyo Yoshikawa grew up with an affinity towards historic architecture and traditional arts and crafts of Japan.

Often in her childhood, her mother took her to grandfather’s house in Joudoji, Kyoto. Yoshikawa says that her first memory of seeing a sumi-e was a scroll hanging in her grandfather’s house. Her grandfather was an antique enthusiast who often showed her his prized purchases from antique markets, and took her to major antique events at Touji and Kitano-tenmangu. Those experiences nurtured her love for all things old and beautiful. At age 18, she enrolled at Kyoto University of Education to study traditional Japanese painting methods and art history. Since then she has been creating artwork using nihonga and sumi-e styles as well as a combined style.

Since her acceptance to Kyoto's juried art exhibition at age 20, Yoshikawa’s artwork has won recognition in many national juried selections and has been featured in exhibitions at art museums and in group shows at long-established art galleries such as Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, The Museum of Kyoto, and Takashimaya Art Gallery, to name just a few. Shortly after graduating, she joined a prestigious Nihonga Artist Association of Kyoto, which is an exclusive, by-invitation-only professional artists association that is active in Kyoto and greater Kinki region. With Kyoto as her base, Yoshikawa has shown her work in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe and received accolades. She achieved solo exhibitions in Tokyo’s premier Ginza district and Kyoto’s downtown as well.

Yoshikawa also has an interest in various cultures, their uniqueness and differences, and she frequently travels to learn about local cultures and art forms.  In particular, she lived in Guatemala for a year where she researched Guatemala’s Mayan culture and was fascinated by the parallels she saw between the ancient cultures of Central America and East Asia. Her work there culminated with a solo exhibition at Santo Tomas Akino College in Antigua, the country’s ancient capital.

Since moving to San Francisco in 2004, Yoshikawa's work incorporates elements of American art. Over the years she has developed a unique style that combines the methods and philosophy of nihonga and sumi-e as well as western art. Her work is at San Francisco Modern Art Museum Artists Gallery, Kala Art Institute, Ren Brown Collection Gallery and other establishments. She is a member of Sumi-e Association of America since 2013 and a recipient of both Calligraphy and Sumi-e Awards. She also serves as a board memeber of the Sumi-e Society from 2016.

The Japan Consulate of San Francisco, Colorado Mesa University, and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco are just a few of many places she has been educating the public through her art exhibits, classes, and demonstrations.  As an instructor of Japanese arts/culture with a focus on calligraphy and sumi-e, she has worked with audiences of diverse backgrounds and ethnicity, ranging from young children to the elderly.

Yoshikawa presently resides with her husband and daughter in Albany, a city in San Francisco’s East Bay. She regularly teaches sumi-e and calligraphy at the Albany Community Center and Walnut Creek Civic Arts.

Spring 2016