Maruyama Yoshiko is a Japanese contemporary artist, working in the mediums of painting and installation.
She sees human beings as having two aspects: “humans as biological beings” and “people as social existences.” Her interest lies in the thought process in which a person decides his/her attitude as he/she struggles between “humans’ natural behaviors, including instinct and desire” and “human rationality that tries to coexist with others.” She uncovers such struggles in past social and historical events, while also exploring the question, “What makes us human?”
In parallel with her own artistic activities, Maruyama has also organized many art projects. She is currently curating the ongoing project Spirit of North, which began in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Through this project, she hopes to promote the recovery of the entire Tohoku region, including her hometown of Fukushima. Her objective is to produce a global-scale project, so as to discover new “northern” theories through the interactions between national and international artists, and specialists working in multidisciplinary fields.
Selected exhibitions: 2019-20, Spirit of North vol.10, Rovaniemi Art Museum, Finland; 2017, Spirit of North vol.7, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; 2013, Gap Dynamics, Itabashi Art Museum; 2009, Rain Meets Sun, M.K. Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Lithuania.


Spirit of North

Spirit of North

1957 Born in Nihonmatsu city, Fukushima prefecture, Lives in Tokyo, Japan
1981 Graduated from Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design, Tokyo, Japan
1982 Begins to work as a visual artist
2011~ Begins the international art project [Spirit of North] as the Representative of the Executive Committee

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2024
    [Written on Water] Gallery Hinoki, Tokyo
  • 2022
    [Humanity and All Others] iGallery, Tokyo
  • 2016
    [Eclosion -The World Might Change] VIRSMAS, The Marija and Jurgis Šlapelis House-Museum, Vilnius, Lithuania
  • 2012
    [The Pupa Stage: Its Superimposition with the Human Wish to Undergo Transitions] Toki Art Space, Tokyo
  • 2007
    [Terrestrial Tapestry 0710] Kawaguchi City Gallery Atlia, Kawaguchi, Saitama
    [Terrestrial Tapestry 0705] Futaba Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2006
    [How Can We Understand Others? 0605] Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo
    [Unstained Glass: Shifting Iconography 0601] Futaba Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2001
    [Between the Lines 0107] Galerie Omotesando, Tokyo
  • 2000
    [Between the Lines 0011] Toki Art Space, Tokyo
  • 1999
    [Between the Lines 9906] Toki Art Space, Tokyo
  • 1997
    [Human Time Arc 9710] Akiyama Gallery, Tokyo
    [Human Time Arc 9709] Galerija Skliautai, Vilnius, Lithuania
    [Human Time Arc 9707] Fine Art Museum, St.George, Romania
    [Out of Chaos 9702] Gallery Art Salon2, Chiba
  • 1996
    [Out of Chaos 9604] Akiyama Gallery, Tokyo
  • 1994
    [Out of Chaos 9404] Gallery Q, Tokyo
  • 1993
    [Out of Chaos 9304] Gallery Lunami, Tokyo
  • 1992
    [Out of Chaos 9205] Nabis Gallery, Tokyo
  • 1988
    [Color and Shapes of Time] Gallery 21+Yo, Tokyo
  • 1987
    [Self-Selection] Iwase Gallery, Fukushima
  • 1986
    [River] Gallery 21+Yo, Tokyo
  • 1982
    [Nature] Shinwa Gallery, Tokyo

Selected International and Group Exhibitions

  • 2023
    [Hinoki Annual 2022–2023] Gallery Hinoki, Tokyo
    [Inspired by Print] Gallery Hinoki, Tokyo
  • 2022
    [Exhibition Sokei Creators] Gallery Punt in Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design, Tokyo
  • 2021
    [Spirit of North vol.14] An Lanntair, Stornoway, Scotland, UK
    [Spirit of North vol.13] NishiAizu International Art Village, Nishiaizu, Fukushima
    [Spirit of North vol.12] Nijuken-Gura, Ehon-no-kura, Minami-machi 2850, Kitakata, Fukushima
    [Spirit of North vol.11] Perth Creative Exchange, Perth, Scotland, UK
  • 2020-19
    [Spirit of “North” vol.10] Rovaniemi Art Museum, Rovaniemi, Finland
  • 2019
    [Spring Breeze from Nagasaki] Nagasaki Brick Hall, Nagasaki, Nagasaki
  • 2018
    [ZhuJiajiao・2018 Exhibition] ZhuJiajiao Humanities Art Museum, Shanghai, China
    [Spirit of “North” vol.9] Toki Art Space, Tokyo
    [Spirit of “North” vol.8] Gallery Off Grid, Fukushima, Fukushima
  • 2017
    [Spirit of “North” vol.7] Group Show of Contemporary Artists 2017, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo
    [Spirit of “North” vol.6] Nishiaizu International Art Village, Nishiaizu, Fukushima
  • 2016-15
    [The International Art Biennale Fresh Winds] Gardur, Iceland
  • 2015
    [Spirit of “North” vol.5] Miyashita Kaseika Center and Otazuki-chiku Minami-machi Area, Mishima and Kitakata, Fukushima
    [Spirit of “North” vol.4] Steps Gallery, Tokyo
  • 2014
    [Spirit of “North” vol.3] Kaiyoukan, Kitakata, Fukushima
    [Spirit of “North” vol.2] Sanju Hachi Kengura, Kitakata, Fukushima
  • 2014-13
    [Gap Dynamics: Contemporary Art Festival in Itabashi Art Museum 2013] Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo
  • 2013
    [Art in Nature Interdisciplinary Site-Specific Land Art Biennale 2013] Kjerringoy, Bodo, Norway
    [Spirit of “North” vol.1] Sanju Hachi Kengura, Kitakata, Fukushima
  • 2012
    [A Sense of Closeness - residencies in Finland and Japan] Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo
  • 2011
    [Silence] The 10th Anniversary of Youkobo Art Space, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo
    [Trolls in the Park 2011] Zempukuji Metropolitan Park, Tokyo
    [Art in Nature Interdisciplinary Site-Specific Land Art Biennale 2011] Kjerringoy, Bodo, Norway
  • 2010
    [Contemporary Art Biennale of Fukushima] Fukushima Culture Hall, Fukushima, Fukushima
    [Aizu Urushi Art Festival 2010] 50spaces in Aizuwakamatsu, Kitakata, Mishima and Showa, Fukushima
    [ART Ii Biennale of Northern Environmental and Sculpture Art 2010] KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre and the Culture Tradition Path, Ii, Finland
  • 2009
    [Art in Parks Project] Zempukuji Metropolitan Park, Tokyo
    [First Vision: Okamoto Taro’s Museum - Artists Inspired by Museums] Fukushima Museum, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima
    [Rain Meets Sun] M.K.Ciurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunas, Lithuania
  • 2008
    [Nishikawaguchi Project] Various Stores in Nishikawaguchi Area, Kawaguchi, Saitama
    [Giving Form to the Space between Layers] Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo
    [Trolls in the Park 2008] Zempukuji Metropolitan Park, Tokyo
    [Hope: society and an area, and an art] Nagoya City Gallery Yada, Nagoya, Aichi
  • 2008-86
    [Art in Itabashi] Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo
  • 2007
    [Abiko International Open-Air Art Exhibition] Abiko, Chiba
  • 2006
    [Between Eco & Ego 2006] masuii R.D.R and 5 space, Kawaguchi, Saitama
  • 2005
    [Look 2005] Japan & EU project, The International Exchange Meeting, Perth, Scotland, UK
  • 2004
    [Between Eco & Ego 2004 in Greece] Naxos Town Hall, Naxos, Greece
    [Between Eco & Ego 2004] Kawaguchi Art Factory & 10space, Kawaguchi, Saitama
  • 2003
    [The Pyramids of Naxos] Naxos Town Hall, Naxos, Greece
    [Echo Project] Toki Art Space, Galerie Omotesando, Musee F, Tokyo
  • 2002
    [Thought Library] SK Gallery and 5 spaces, Tokyo
    [Prayers for Love and Peace] Miyazaki Art Museum, Miyazaki
  • 2001
    [Abduction] Para Globe, Tokyo
    [On the Edge] Urbo Kalnas, Vilnius Kaunas and Nida, Lithuania
    [Women Breaking Bounderies 21] Hillside Forum, Tokyo
  • 2000
    [Women’s Art Network act.2] Yokohama Women’s Forum, Yokohama, Kanagawa
  • 1999
    [Asiatopia] Saranrom National Park, Bangkok, Thailand
    [New Faces of Art in Asia] BWA Lublin, Lublin, Poland
  • 1998
    [Attack / Damage] Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo
    [Castle of Imagination] The West Kashubian Museum, Bytow, Poland
  • 1997
    [Ann Art] St. Ann Lake, Transylvania, Romania
  • 1996
    [Contemporary Art of Central Europe & Japan] Beam Gallery, Tokyo
  • 1995
    [Art on the Net] Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts, Tokyo