Miho Takai was born and educated in Tokyo before coming to the United States to study art at the National Academy of Art and The Art Students League of New York. She currently lives in Brooklyn and spends her time transfering her interpretation of this dynamic city onto canvas and into sculptures. Her work has been exhibited at Galerie Gora in Montreal, World Fine Art in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district, Gallery Konoha in Tokyo, and elsewhere.
“I am strongly intrigued by contrast of light and shadow,” says Ms. Takai. “I enjoy the view that people and architecture form a relationship with the landscape around us in unique ways. An expecting mother, an old watertank or a view that no longer exists remain as memories and a reminder that beauty can be effected by many things. All people and landscapes have life cycles. Likewise, as an artist, I am constantly renewing and regenerating myself.”
Ms Takai creates a series of striking paintings depicting life in New York City, capturing portraits of ordinary people in everyday situations with fresh infusions of color. Hailing from Tokyo, another big city, she has studied and contrasted the differences through her works. She believes that New York has a unique set of values and priorities with starker differences in racial and economic makeups whereas Japan is a more homogeneous society. “Where there is brighter light, the shadows are darker.” As we dig deeper, we find that this big city of bright lights is neither bright nor big, that despite the glitz and the flash, underneath or even next to it can be homelessness or addiction. This paradox in Miho Takai’s use of bright colors with sometimes depressing subjects is what makes New York interesting. By seeing beauty in the mundane, Ms Takai celebrates the city she has called home for the last dozen years and it is what makes the American Dream – a dream.