Miyoko McGregor Yamashita

About Miyoko and her work

b. Himeji, Japan

Lives and works in London/Durham, UK.


As a young woman, Miyoko was determined to leave the comfort of life in her hometown and move to Tokyo for study. At the time she had no idea that this was the beginning of her life to come, with many moves. She travelled intensively and lived in various places including New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong where she encountered ‘alien’ cultures and values. She also witnessed the social and political impacts of a changing world on ordinary people’s everyday lives first hand, which became the basis of her practice.


Miyoko explores traditional Japanese woodblock print or scroll compositions and perspectives, mixing sizes and collaging of images in her painting. Her complex compositions and colours are a reflection of her feeling of layered lives and the rhizomatic relationships of events.


At the time of Brexit, Miyoko painted a series focusing on British people on a package beach holiday in Europe in 2017. Beyond the studio I am motivated by curating exhibitions. In 2015/2016, I brought together several Japanese artists from London and organised two contemporary art exhibitions (On the Threshold I and II) in Durham in acknowledgement of the long standing relationship between Japanese companies and the North East. My interest in staging exhibitions has continued since graduation as reflected in my curation of the exhibition Encounter 2018 at Durham University. This explored the interaction between human agency and nature, a theme which has influenced my art practice over the last 12 months. Encounter involved working with local artists, art students and researchers so as to raise environmental awareness and connect research, art and the community; I contributed a 2x3m painting, a number of small sculptures/assemblages and two videos. Working on Encounter 2018 made me realise the importance to my art making of collaborative work on local issues, something I wish to continue.


2014-17 BA (First Class Honours) Fine Art / Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

2012-14 BA Fine Art / Elam School of Fine Art, University of Auckland, NZ


Diploma in Graphic Design, University of Papua New Guinea/Hong Kong Poly Technic University

MA in TEFL, University of Surrey, UK

BA in Japanese Literature, Teaching Certificate in Japanese, Hosei University, Japan




2018 Feb.-Apr. 'Encounter 2018’, Ustinov College, Durham University, Durham, UK
2016 Jan.-May 'On the Threshold II: Formal Presence’, Oriental Museum, Durham, UK
2015 Nov. On the Threshold I’, Oriental Museum/Lafcadio Hearn Cultural Centre, Durham, UK


[Group Exhibitions]

2018 Feb.-Apr. 'Encounter 2018’, Ustinov College, Durham University, Durham, UK
2016 Mar.-Apr. 'The Colour of Your Heart is What Matter’s', Studio One, Auckland, NZ
Jan.-May 'On the Threshold II: Formal Presence', Oriental Museum, Durham, UK
2015 Nov. 'On the Threshold I', Oriental Museum/Lafcadio Hearn Cultural Centre, Durham, UK
Aug. 'Reaching the Horizon & Beyond', Malcolm Smith gallery, Auckland, NZ
July 'Reaching the Horizon & Beyond', Studio One Toi Tu, Auckland, NZ
2014 Oct. 'Feeling about War', Goldsmiths College, London, UK
Sep. 'The Next Station Is..', Circle gallery, Auckland, NZ
Mar. 'Be the Light of My Lantern', George Fraser gallery, Auckland, NZ
2013 Dec. 'Expressions', Railway St. Studio gallery, Auckland, NZ
Sep. 'Some Say I So I Say Light', Project Space gallery, University of Auckland, NZ
2012 Dec. 'Painters’ Studio', Art Station gallery, Auckland, NZ
2011 Dec. 'Painting in Progress', Art Station gallery, Auckland, NZ