Tomomi Morishima

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*1984 Paris, France
2002–2006 Painting, Tara College of Art, Tokio, Japan
2006–2012 Painting, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe, Master student Prof. Helmut Dorner
  Lives and works in Karlsruhe

Grants / Scholarships

2012 Master student award, Freundeskreis der Kunstakademie Karlsruhe

Solo exhibitions

2022 Lichtung, Kunstverein Speyer  
  Purple Rain, Gray Kitchen, Karlsruhe  
2021 Morishima / Sedelmeier, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
  Wandering Light, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen  
2020 Marco Faisst / Tomomi Morishima, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
2019 Swell, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
2018 PETAL - fragments as a partial whole, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen  
2017 Tomomi Morishima, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
2016 Tomomi Morishima, Ecke Galerie, Augsburg  
2015 Unknown Flower, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
  Dickicht, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen  
2014 Gleam, MMProjects, Karlsruhe  
  Blue, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
2013 Tomomi Morishima, Karlsruher Institut für Technologie Campus Nord, Karlsruhe  
2012 Tomomi Morishima, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart  
2011 Afterglow, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen  
2011 Tomomi Morishima, Martin Mertens, Berlin  
2009 postcards, bei Alice Cavoukdjian dite Galli & Dr. Bernhard Serexhe, Karlsruhe  

Group exhibitions

2023 New Friends In Color, Evelyn Drewes | Galerie
2018 Wohin das Auge reicht / Neue Einblicke in die Sammlung Würth, Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
2017 Acchrochage, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen
  22. Karlsruher Künstlermesse, Karlsruhe
  OLOHUONENÄYTTELY, Helsinki, Finland
  Latsch mir nicht in die Kiste, da ist der Theodolit drin!, Luis Leu, Karlsruhe
2014 Das Obere des Körpers, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen
2013 Meisterschüler/innen in Weinheim, Kunstförderverein Weinheim e.V., Weinheim
  Contemporary Art from China, Japan, Korea, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie., Essen
  Jonas Fleckenstein, Tomomi Morishima, Oliver Schuss, MMProjects, Karlsruhe
2012 TOP12, Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe
  Off Space #4: 17 x 8, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
2010 Passage, Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe
  1st SHOW, Strzelski Galerie, Stuttgart
  Cocktail, Galerie Frank Schlag & Cie, Essen
  Enovos Junge Kunst, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen
2009 artscoutone, Mannheim
  hako, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe


Tomomi Morishima does not tell stories, but hands the viewer compositions of the elements architecture, landscape and figure, which are left to generous interpretation. An alternation of color surfaces and empty spaces result in a very airy, surreal pictorial space of vibrating color splashes and flowing planes. Bordering on the abstract, a mix of construction and organic painting creates a corridor with considerable pull. The viewer is invited into the picture; he can literally enter Morishima's pictorial world. In the center of the picture there is often a human being. But shimmering elements that dynamize the pictorial space have to be traversed in order to reach him. In the midst of the complex multi-part compositions, the depicted human being acts as a stand-in for the human being itself. For a conditio humana. For man in his biotope, so to speak.

The time factor also plays a formative role in Morishima's works: In the landscape paintings, elements that lie behind a superficial pictorial plane seem to belong to a past time. Playing with the dimensions of time is a prominent feature of Morishima's painting. It is not a matter of linear extensions, i.e. not a mere memory, but rather a memory of the future or an inkling of the past. There is no linear time axis in these paintings, rather a surreal one.

This shimmering, billowing cosmos is given its static quality by architectural interventions: frame-like constructions demarcate central pictorial contents from peripheral ones. Often these enclosures frame a figure. These human figures are usually seen from the back, as if they were taking leave of the viewer, of the picture plane, of the present. But they do not do that. On the contrary, they invite the viewer to follow them. They go into the depths of the picture in order to discover something there. But what there is to discover remains constantly in the balance. What remains is a riddle of the most delightful kind, which neither the viewers nor the artist himself can fathom completely. Morishima's large-format paintings are not only open in the best sense, they are open-ended.

As open-ended as the painter's working process: he begins with a few drops of liquid paint on an empty canvas. Abstract forms emerge from this, but they already offer many hints and associations. By reacting to these signals, the painting takes on concrete form as it progresses. Only through this careful procedure of a cautious approach does the painter arrive at a pictorial space that is a permanent lock, a place of perpetual transition. Starting point and destination are irrelevant here, what counts is the transition. Yes, Morishima does not tell stories, he only evokes them. For it is the viewers who begin to tell stories when they see his painting.

Tomomi Morishima was born in Paris in 1984. During childhood and adolescence he lived in Hiroshima. He continued his art studies, which he began in Tokyo in 2002, with Prof. Helmut Dorner in Karlsruhe from 2006. In 2012 he received the Master Student Award of the Friends of the Karlsruhe Art Academy. Today he lives and works in Karlsruhe.

Hansjörg Fröhlich