Dazed Digital

Tokyo

Kimiko Mitani Woo

May 2, 2012

The independent art curator with an eye on the explosive development of East Asian art

  • Text by Alexandra Plesner

Kimiko Mitani Woo is an independent art curator and producer based in Tokyo and Shanghai. After a successful career as an account executive for Nike, she followed her dream working with Asian art and design. In 2009 she established the MW Company, dedicated to developing the art scene in East Asia with an eye on dynamic new artists whose works transcend conventional art boundaries. Alongside events showcasing the unique and highly diverse works of such artists. Kimiko seeks to transport the energy of the changing art world from China around the world. She's also recently unveiled a collaboration with Christian Joy, a costume designer whose iconic work with Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs sees her on the rise.

Satellite Voices: What inspires you about Tokyo?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: Shopping and Food!

SV: Can you tell us about the contemporary art development in China?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: The development of creative culture in China exploded in recent years. It generated a lot of opportunities for a lot of people. One of the things that I noticed when I lived in Shanghai was that Shanghai and Beijing became a gathering space for many Chinese creatives from all over the world to explore and to experiment. This is very exciting for me because the situation allowed a very interesting mix of creative energy. They are all Chinese but yet their thoughts, ideas, behaviours, language and fashion are all so different. I am so inspired by such eclecticism and I really want to bring that to Tokyo.

SV: Why did you chose the G8 gallery in Ginza?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: G8 is a renowned design gallery in Tokyo. They showcased a lot of upcoming as well as many many legendary Japanese art directors and designers. They contacted us last year and wanted to do something more than just featuring local creatives, something that would excite the creative scene in Japan. I am very greateful and honoured that G8 took this bold step and came to me for this opportunity.

SV: What is the best advice you got so far?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: Just do it. (Dan Weiden.)

SV: What was your first passion and how does this passion manifests itself today?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: It was definitely film. My first job was at a film production company. It was fascinating for me to seek out the best new directors, best production teams to work on my projects. I carry that passion with me in every job that i do.

SV: What is your earliest childhood memory?
Kimiko Mitani Woo: I accidentally stabbed my face with a Mickey Mouse fork at a kid's party, aged three. I remembered there was a lot of screaming from other kids' parents. Thinking back, it was quite funny.

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