Misako Mitsui is the eye that guides Mitsui Fine Arts. From Kyoto's hidden sources,
Misako discovers and acquires works of art, craft, and design that have a deep connection with contemporary lifestyle.
Everyone has a unique vision when it comes to buying art. There is no single formula for finding your dream work.
- Are you searching for artwork to enrich your life and watch your collection grow?
- Is it to adorn your home where you host events and dinners?
- Is it for the thrill of collecting?
- Or for the pleasure you feel when a particular piece sparks a connection?
Just as we are unique individuals with distinct personalities, every work has its soul. The soul is searching for a steward to share the connection. My job is to open the door to works that capture the essence of Kyoto culture from a different era and guide you on your journey to find your soul work on the other side of that door. What qualifies me for such a position? Well, it is a story of my
- core principle in looking at art,
- and my family history,
that navigate Mitsui Fine Arts.
Mitsui Fine Arts' approach to art is informed by a century's old principle from the Way of Tea, called Toriawase.
The ultimate goal of Toriawase is to search for an exquisite harmony between objects in space.
Art does not live all by itself as we humans do not. They talk to each other, sometimes in resonance, and sometimes they shout to each other in dissonance. It is an art of arrangement, and it considers all forms of fine art, design, and craft on an equal plane.
One Toriawase example
Left: Robert Ryman
Orange Painting,1955-1959 Oil on canvas
28 1/8 x 28 1/8" (71.4 x 71.4 cm)
©2021 Robert Ryman
Photograph: courtesy of Art & Artist
Right: artisan's name unknown
chaire, 17th century
2 1/2" x 2 1/4"
©2021 Mitsui Fine Arts
Intuitively, you have already practiced it without knowing. Yet, when the principal is revealed, you will feel as if a fog has been lifted.
Toriawase will become a philosophy for understanding the objects that you choose to compose your surroundings. It can be as simple as the unity in serving lunch with a 19th-century Kyoyaki plate and an Austrian Secession glass tumbler for your lunch on the deck today. It can be composing your entire home into a unified aesthetic statement. Mitsui Fine Arts will serve as your guide into the world of Toriawase, and your search for art will become a quest closely intertwined with yourself. The pieces you choose will articulate who you are.
My family was deeply embedded in the enlightened merchant class of Kyoto since the 18th century. Once known as Machishu, it was a facet of society that was closely involved with the Chanoyu, "Way of Tea," otherwise known as Tea Ceremony. My grandfather was the ninth generation and the owner of our family kimono business, Matsubaya Shokai, which my father later inherited. They raised me, their only child, as they would have raised a male heir. They were both avid connoisseurs of Chanoyu culture, and their tireless education imbued me with an intuitive understanding of our art and culture from an early age. They and the ancestors had established a longstanding relationship with the closed art world in Kyoto.
I was one of the last generations to receive rigorous training in aesthetic traditions because I grew up in a place where old customs endured long after WWII.
Though I may have been steeped in the traditions of the old way, I am no conformist. My father and grandfather raised me to break the rules of tradition elegantly. They would praise me for defying convention, but only if I had done so with flair. In this way, I developed a skill for subverting stereotypical aesthetic expectations.
Early in my career, I deliberately took a break from Japanese art. I spent eight years exploring French and Chinese art, along with modern and contemporary American art, until I felt confident in returning to my roots with an expanded view. As soon as I returned to Japanese art, I've renewed longstanding relationships with a tea master, private art dealers, and collectors back in Kyoto, who became my mentors and provided entrance into Kyoto’s cloistered art market. I feel fortunate to be among the few granted the rare access to this world. Through my eclectic inventory of objects and paintings, I invite you to become a part of the evolving story of an ancient aesthetic tradition to create your exceptional living environment.
SOURCED WORKS FOR :
PORTLAND ART MUSEUM
ASIAN ART MUSEUM IN SAN FRANCISCO
ZUANCHO IN KYOTO, STANFORD UNIVERSITY, CA
TORIAWASE, INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART, SAN JOSE, CA
BEYOND CRAFT, CRAFT MUSEUM, SAN FRANCISCO.
LECTURE AND TEACHING:
LECTURE, ZUANCHO IN DESIGN, IDEO, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
ZUANCHO, SUMMER SESSION COURSE, CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
JOIN ME AT MY SITE
CALL ME +1 415 336 6651
OR AT MISAKO'S TREE HOUSE IN SAN RAFAEL
(WILL START TAKING NEW APPOINTMENTS IN SEPTEMBER)