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AS IS | Moemi Yamamoto


From Japan

Based in Prague, Czechia

"My inspiration comes often from my own dreams and Kafka's novels. I am also often influenced by films, books and comics."

1 - Where You Become Me and I Become You, 2022; 2 - Tree in the Dark, 2022; 3 - Intersection, 2020

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you to art?

M: I have loved drawing since I was a child, but the defining moment was when I was 16 years old, when I came across the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico. I was struck by the dreamlike, magical atmosphere of his paintings, even though they depicted common motifs. Since then, I have been searching for a form of expression that could become the core of my life.

A: What inspires you the most?

M: My inspiration comes often from my own dreams and Kafka's novels. I am also often influenced by films, books and comics.

In film, I was strongly influenced by Tarkovsky's and Aleksandr Sokurov's works, and in manga by Yoshiharu Tsuge's Screwed. I am attracted to artistic expression that plays the role of spiritual support that religion once played.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?

M: I often keep a dream diary when I have interesting dreams, from which I often get inspiration for my paintings. When I paint, I often burn incense or wear strong perfume to enhance my mood.

A: What would you recommend to someone new to art (an artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

M: How about drawing anything in a small notebook? At the end of my teenage years, I used to draw whatever I like in a little notebook I titled 'The Screaming Note'.

It didn't necessarily have to be a picture, it could be a text, or a collage of favorite parts of magazines.

The more you drew, the more it became like a book with your thoughts and interests, which is really interesting. If you take the plunge and show it to people, it might expand your world.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to art?

M: I haven't thought about adjectives in particular, but if I had to, I would say 'healing', 'unexpected', 'dreamy'.

A: Your favorite Czech artists?

M: I love works of so-called”Krásný sloh“, for example works of Master Theodoric, Master of the Třeboň Altarpiece. And also my favorites are Jan Zrzavý, Toyen and Jindřich Štyrský.

More recently I like works of Josef Bolf, Martin Gerboc, Siegfried Herz.

A: Is there a piece of art you think embodies the Czech national spirit and culture? Why?

M: This may be a foreigner's point of view, but I think Jan Švankmajer's work embodies a peculiarly Czech, absurdist atmosphere, which can also be found in Kafka's work. It is difficult to describe, but the Czech Republic has a unique national atmosphere, which is like a weird backstreet world that seems to take you to mysterious places, outside the mainstream.

A: The perfect way to start any conversation about art is: …?

M: Hmm…it’s very difficult question. Nothing comes to mind...

A: Where can we meet you?

M: I work every day in my studio in LIBEN, there we can meet.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)

M: A dream within a dream

For more: visit or IG


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