Mariana Oushiro’s pictorial language is rooted in the choreography of movement and shaped by the artist’s ability to remain exquisitely in tune with her own subconscious. Her gestural marks are powerful but intimate, with the flow of each stroke revealing a simultaneously cerebral and intuitive approach to line, colour, and composition. Oushiro draws inspiration from elements of the natural world and her belief in a higher natural order. In conjuring her paintings, she draws upon her impressions of the topographies of agricultural landscapes in Brazil, the sensation of buoyancy in water, sacred geometries, architecture, and science. Her family’s heritage, originating in Japan and Brazil, informs her philosophical and aesthetic frameworks, and has shaped the development of her artistic language as an idiom of abstraction.

Mariana Oushiro at her studio in New York. Photo courtesy of the artist

LVH: When you begin working on a piece, you often lay the canvas on the ground, allowing yourself to step and kneel onto it, even using your hands to paint instead of a brush. How did such a physical and tactile approach to painting come about?

MO: Comes naturally. It’s a pattern in me. I just start and the lines start to match the geometry I need to see. All I have to do is to meet the path where it’s at, I just see it, and I follow what I see. And the steps and the marks are my hands are the guides: if my parks are matching the gestures of my walking and hand path, I know it’s going in the right direction and If I don’t see it, I don’t even start. It’s not my day!

Mariana Oushiro, Jolly, 2022

LVH: You were born in São Gotardo, Brazil, but now live and work in New York City. What was it about the city that inspired you to make that move? Do you find inspiration from the geography around you?

MO: New York is supported, it’s vital to support. It’s energy that vitalizes my fire and consequently my creation. Its instincts that bought me here: as a creative, you look for a safe place to plant your seed and a place you know consciously or unconsciously that will be nurturing in every way.  Here I am exposed to the glory of motion and that feeds me. The energy and movement are everything my own energy and paintings are about it: movement. So I dance on my mind with the rhythms of the balance of feeling in a natural habitat and that’s my raw material, my go to the floor and start to paint. So when they say I paint to fast I have to give half of the credit to New York. the rhythm of the movement I paint and live in is the name of the maestro. New York is the composer I am the instrument, the player is wholesome of the universe!

Mariana Oushiro at her studio in New York. Photo courtesy of the artist

LVH: We are excited to have you included in our upcoming exhibition, ‘Women in Abstraction’, which will bring together 15 female artists, each offering their own interpretation of the genre of abstraction. You’ve noted that recently you’ve tried to move away from painting instinctively, in favor of a more conscious, pre-planned mode of construction. Why is this?

MO: Very good question. I needed to try to conclude my experience of painting because there were never words after and it’s so beyond beautiful I wanted to share! To be able to tell people all about it, I tried to grasp the experience by experimenting pre-planned constriction of the light I see when painting based on past experiences- so for example I would try to mimic what I just did naturally on another painting but now planning. and while I am working on putting these same traces together so very much similar in a way and yet out of life all was in vain…. I could never find words.. but I am glad I tried for I found a lesson instead! The lesson is that offering is a thing of far greater value- take nothing in return. Be a light that chooses not to be tamed.  No conclusion or consciousness will meet the light. This is the truth of the fire. Thank for these questions! And yes! I am part of this show and so very excited to see what Hong Kong will think about it. I am looking forward.

Mariana Oushiro at her studio in New York. Photo courtesy of the artist

LVH: What’s next for you in 2023?

MO: Next is BRAZIL. I am flying on Monday for SP art week, I will have one painting there and then stay in São Paulo to prepare for my solo show there! It’s a beautiful space that many years ago I remember walking in and thinking: wow! One day I will be here. And now I am!

WHAT'S UP/ HONG KONG 'Women in Abstraction' is on view between 20.03.2023 - 25.03.2023 at 6/F Pedder Building, Hong Kong