Minako Ota

Born in Osaka in 1965, I studied traditional Japanese painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, I attended Cambridge University in England where I focused on western painting conservation.

Since I left my native country some 30 years ago, I have submerged myself in western cultures in the US and Europe. My artwork is a cultural hybrid between Japan and the West, as I combine western painting techniques that I learned through my 20+ years as a professional painting conservator and traditional Japanese aesthetics that I grew up with.

I started painting a series of marine creatures in spring 2020, when COVID-19 became a serious threat in the US. We were being challenged not only in health and economic aspects, but so many others as well, such as social, political, racial, spiritual... I started creating this series with the hope to inspire people to live more fully and joyously, no matter their circumstances. Life began in the oceans and we are still a part of this amazing living ecosystem, connected by this vast body of water.