Born 1979 in Mato Grosso, Brazil; lives and works in Les Pavillons-sous-Bois, France.

Erica Kaminishi lived in Japan for ten years, where she worked, studied pottery, and attended a PhD program. She has worked as an artist in Japan and Brazil and was featured in the 2010 Aichi Triennale and the 2012 Echigo Tsumari Art Triennale. Her artwork combines Japanese cultural elements—such as gardens and nihonga (traditional Japanese painting)—with Portuguese language works, such as Fernando Pessoa’s poetry. Kaminishi holds a master’s degree from Nihon University.


My family history has been marked by change, by immigration, not a fixed place. And my grandparents are of Japanese origin from the North of Japan, my parents are second generation born in Brazil, and I was born in the interior of Mato Grosso.

When I was 18 years old I went to Japan for the first time. I started researching and studying about traditional Japanese art. I identified myself with the whole movement. I re-work many elements of the Japanese Baroque period, the beginning of the EDO era.

I participated in a Arts-in-Residency program at the biology department at Waseda University. It was very enriching, it was the first time that I worked with elements, for example, the petri dish, test tubes and I also introduced it in my work. I thought of art as a way to channel all experiences, everything that I was experiencing at the moment.

The written language was very important for me in this period. I wrote several diaries, the diaries began to turn into drawings and it was from this point that I began to work the word as visual composition. Basically I work with drawing, so paper is my limit.

I like to go beyond the limits of the paper and develop my work in other media, methods, this is a great challenge, to think in large scale. To think about an artwork where the conceptual side, the aesthetic side, and the technical side, engage in an harmonious dialogue.

* * * * *

Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo is on view at the Japanese American National Museum from September 17, 2017 - February 25, 2018. The exhibition examines the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California. Erica Kaminishi is one of the artists featured in this exhibition.

For more information about the exhibition, visit

Japanese American National Museum
100 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

*The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a Getty-led initiative exploring Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, and is made possible through grants from the Getty Foundation. The presenting sponsor of PST: LA/LA is Bank of America.

JANM — Last modified Sep 22 2018 10:06 p.m.

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