Kimiko Muraoka Koyanagi

Region: Burlington Ontario
Born 1932, Japan


Kimiko Koyanagi is a 3rd generation doll-maker from the renowned Muraoka doll-making family of Tokyo and has made Burlington, Ontario her home since 1966. Trained from childhood in the family tradition, she is one of only a few living masters of this esteemed Japanese craft. For over sixty years, she has been utilizing this traditional gofun technique and infusing her own bold artistic vision to create deeply spiritual and ethereal contemporary sculptures.

Capturing a sublime melancholia, her distinct forms often evoke an existential sadness and sometimes a profound sense of hope. With beautiful Asian features and meditative, dream-like, confidently feminine expressions, each figure is a glimpse deep into the heart and soul of the artist.

Artist Statement

I was born into a doll-making family. But for me the label of doll always bothered me a little. To me the history of the doll goes all the way back to primitive times when a doll or idol held a place of closeness to the heart: conveying or evoking a sense of security and comfort and pure human emotion. It is this essence I pursue with my art. Not the playful notion of the doll as a toy, but the more emotional idea of a doll as an expression of the heart. As a member of a doll-making family, I always wanted to push the boundaries of doll-making, and try to create a more personal and expressive and evocative art form. That has been and continues to be my life’s pursuit as an artist.
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