Bio

Over the past two decades Kawai has continued to engage, develop and expand the figurative language of painting, sculpture and installation. Applying the aesthetic of “kawaii” - a term for cuteness in Japanese culture - the Japanese-born artistMisaki Kawai fuses surreal dreamscapes with mundane everyday life to conjure a visual vocabulary that borders on the naïve. Her paintings as well as her extensive collection of zines and books incorporate collage elements such as glitter, fur and fabric from children's clothes, reflecting on childhood memories and dreams. Ranging from psychedelic figures to calm abstractions, Kawai’s works reflect the deliberate confusion of staging and improvisation in culture today, presenting images unified by their fluffy everyday magic.

CV

Born 1978 in Kagawa, Japan
Lives and works between New York and Japan


EDUCATION

1997 - 1999
Kyoto College of Art, Kyoto, Japan


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2022
Hairy Tales, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

2021 

In Residence, OUTPOST, Copenhagen, Denmark
Moko Moko Doki Doki, The Hole, New York 

2019 
Paper Party, Tokyo Art Book Fair GINZA EDITION, Ginza Sony Park, Tokyo 

2018
Pinecone Times, The Hole, New York 
Fluffy Days, Lotte Gallery, Ilsan 
Fluffy Days, Avenuel Art Hall, Seoul, Korea

2017
Romantic Melody, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

2016
Cave Life, The Hole, New York, United States

2013
Where to go, Muji to go kitte, Tokyo, Japan
Area, The Hole, New York, United States
Homeland 2020, Marunouchi house, Tokyo, Japan
Hair Show, The Hole, New York, United States
Anxiety, The New York Times, New York, United States

2012
Love from Mt. Pom Pom, CMA – The Childrens Museum of Art, New York, US
Art Hong Kong Hong Kong, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Fun, Riihimaki Art Museum, Finland

2011
Wet Shiny Surprise, Gallery Loyal, Malmö, Sweden
Nice Bang, Fumetto, Lucerne, Switzerland
Big Bubble, Malmö Konsthall, Sweden
Enpitsu Taisou, Take Ninagawa, Japan

2010
Project N 43, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

2009
Homeland 2020, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan 
Oishii Ninkimono, Lammfromm, Tokyo, Japan
Kung Fu Forest, LaMontagne Gallery, Boston, United States

2008
Outdoor Club, Paul Bright, Toronto, Canada
Fancy Pants, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Misaki Kawai,
 Tao Soju, Gallery J Chen, Taipei, Taiwan
Kimagure Float, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan         

2007
Tiger Punch, Clementine Gallery, New York, United States
Fuzzy Love, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden
Big Break, Perugi Arte Contemporary Art, Padova, Italy

2006
Boro-Boro Doro-Doro, Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Momentum 7, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US

2005
Mars Investigation Laboratory, Kantor / Feuer Window, New York, US

2004
Kuru Kuru Jet, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, US

2003
Sun Park, Inman Gallery, Houston, US
Octopus Pier, MoMA PS1, New York, US
Misaki Kawai Summer Show, Kenny Schachter ConTEMPorary, New York, US

2002
Air Show, Kenny Schachter ConTEMPorary, New York, US
Garbage Room, New Image Art, West Hollywood, US


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023
The Cuteness Factor - curated by Jan Elantkowski & Maj Ajna, Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary
Title IX, The Hole, New York, US
Storage Wars, The Hole, Los Angeles, US
15, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan

2022
V1 XX - Twenty years of V1 Gallery, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Interior Dialogues, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

2021
Lampadephoria, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark

2020
MINE IV
, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Anecdote, Stems Gallery, Brussels 

2019
MINE III, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Birds,
 CHART Art Fair with V1 Gallery, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Denmark 
Off the Wall, Hudson Yards, New York 
Paper View, The Hole, New York

2018
MINE II, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
EXTRA, The Hole, New York
Tables, Pots & Plants – A song for Matisse, V1 Gallery at VOLTA14, Basel, Switzerland

2017
MINE, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Horses, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Hole at Art Los Angeles Contemporary,
 The Hole, New York, US
Melted City 4 – curated by Louie Cordero and Jordin Isip, ISB Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island, US
Melted City 3 – curated by Louie Cordero and Jordin Isip, Blanc Gallery, Quezon City, Philippines

2016
Character, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Greek Gotham, Dio Horia, Mykonos, Greece
The Aging Coconut, Roberto Paradise, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Booby Trap, The Hole, New York, US
The Parlor, V1 Gallery at VOLTA12, Basel, Switzerland
The Hole at Art Cologne 2016, Köln, Germany
Nieves & Innen Zine Library, Swiss Institute, New York
Nieves 200+ Zines, Open MUJI, Shanghai, China
Keep It Together, Flower Pepper Gallery, Pasadena, California, US

2015
13, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Eric Firestone Gallery at UNTITLED 2015, Miami Beach, Florida, US
Eric Firestone Gallery at NADA New York 2015, New York, US
Powerful Babies: Keith Haring’s Impact on Artists Today, Spritmuseum, Stockholm
Tiger Tiger, Salon 94, New York, US
Outta Town Sh*t, Kravets/Wehby Gallery, New York, US
She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, US
Post-Analog Painting, The Hole, New York, US
Woman House, Eric Firestone Gallery, East Hampton, New York, US

2014
Playmaking, Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa, Japan
This Is Not A Toy, curated by Pharrell Williams, The Design Exchange, Toronto, Canada
More Material, curated by Duro Olowu, Salon 94, New York, US
Early Man, The Hole, New York, US
Tee Pee Project, curated by Eric Firestone, The Mondrian, Miami, US
The Hole at Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2014, Santa Monica, California, US

2013
Where To Go, MUJI to go kitte, Tokyo, Japan
Area, curated by Jeffrey Deitch, The Hole, New York, US
Japanese Artists in New York, Marunouchi House, Tokyo, Japan
Anxiety, The NY Times, New York, US
Chicken or Beef, curated by Jesper Elg, The Hole, New York, US
The Hole at NADA Miami Beach 2013, Collins Ave. and 67th St. in
North Miami Beach, US

2012     
The Big Bang, The Watermill Center, New York, US
Fun, Riihimäki Art Museum, Finland

2011
75 Artists in 75 Years, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, US
STATUS – Somewhere between position and Condition, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
In The Garden, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, Australia
Party Animals, curated by Lindsay Scoggins, Royal/T Art Space, Los Angeles, US
Face Maker, curated by Kathy Grayson, Royal/T Art Space, Los Angeles, US

2010
ALBUM, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Insider/Outsider,
 Portugal Arte 10, Lisbon, Portugal
Take Ninagawa, FIAC, Paris, France
Mutant Pop, Loyal, Malmö, Sweden
Not Quite Open for Business, The Hole, New York, US
Happily Unhappy, Blanc Compound, Mandaluyong, Philippines

2009
I Believe, The Museum of Modern Art, Toyama, Japan
Wild Future 2, Galerie Zürcher, Paris, France
Visions of the Frontier, The Valencian Institute of Modern Art, Valencia, Spain
Oishii Ninkimono, Lammfromm, Tokyo, Japan
Live: Misaki Kawai, Harcozd, Tokyo, Japan
I Can´t FeelMy Face, Curated by KAWS, Royal/T Art Space, Los Angeles, US
Circle of Friends, Vacant, Tokyo, Japan
Heart Break Hotel, Freight and Volume, New York, US
Frédric Magazine 3, Espace GHP, Paris, France
Wild Feature, Gallery Zürcher, New York, US
Overlooked, The Plug in ICA, Winnipeg, Canada
Frédéric Magazine 3, Espace Beaurepaire, Paris, France
Flight of Fancy, Kenny Schachter/Rove, London, United Kingdom
Dime Bag 3, Giant Robot, New York, US
Live: The Butternuts, Supercore, New York, US
15 year Anniversary, Paul Bright, Toronto, Canada
Nada Art Fair, Nada (Take Ninagawa), Miami, US

2008
Nada Art Fair, Nada (Take Ninagawa), Miami, US
Last Second First, ISB Gallery, Providence, US
The Lords, David Lawrence Gallery, L.A., US
Mail Order Monsters, Curated by Kathy Grayson, Max Wigram Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Fun House, Park Life, San Francisco, US
Just It (Just Be), Galleri Opdahl, Stavanger, Sweden
Panorama Project 3, Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York, US
Return To Sender, Krets, Malmo, Sweden
Chasing For The Combat Blue, Zenshi Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
I Won’t Grow Up, curated by Donald Baechler, Cheim & Read, New York, US
Everything Else, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, US
Crocodile Tears, Giant Robot, New York, US
Yard Sale Auction, Honey Space, New York, US
Move 16, Cinders Gallery, New York, US
Wet ‘n Wild, Kim Light, L.A., US
Object Salon, Honey Space, New York, US
Kunst Gruppe, Werkstatte, New York, US

2007
Hey You Guysssssss!, Community Outreach, Toronto, Canada
Making Home, Japan Society, New York, US
Gallery Artist, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Sorty Club, GR2 / Giant Robot, L.A., United States
Red Hot, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, US
Art Under Glass, Macy’s Herald Square, New York, US
Animal Wrestling, Kinzelman Art Consulting, Houston, US
Homegrown, David Krut Projects, New York, US
Not Only A, but B, Transformer Gallery, D.C., US
Paper Trails, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
I Love Tourism, Galleria Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice, Italy
Look Behind You, Giant Robot, New York, US
Five Painters, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden
These Bagels are Gnarly, Cinders Gallery, New York, US

2006
Guy Ben-ner, Misaki Kawai, Take Ninagawa, Tokyo, Japan
Unwrapping the Wing, The Invisible Museum, Denver, US
Art Parade, Deitch Projects, New York, US
The Thousand Things, MU Mueseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Collage Party, Zieher Smith Gallery, New York, US
Waves, Mollusk Surf Shop, San Francisco, US
Don’t Abandon the Ship, curated by Eddie Martinez, Allston Skirt Gallery,
Boston, US
The Studio Visit, Exit Art, New York, US
It’s a Beautiful day, curated by Paul Laster, Ise Cultural Foundation, New York, US

2005
Live Through This, Deitch Projects, Miami Design District, Miami, US
Tiger Drip, Galleri Loyal, Stockholm, Sweden
Dear New Girl or Whatever Your Name Is, Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, US
Desired Constellations, curated by Meredith Darrow, Daniel Reich Gallery,
New York, US
Clementine Project Room Summer Show, Clementine Gallery, New York, US
Hanging by a Thread, curated by Nina Arias and Jose Diaz, The Moore Space, Miami, US
No Bones about It, curated by Marsea Goldberg, New Image Art,
West Hollywood, US
Greater New York 2005, MoMA PS1, New York, US
Move#13, curated by Rich Jacobs, Clementine Gallery, New York, US

2004
Move Eleven, curated by Rich Jacobs, 96 Gillespie, London, United Kingdom
Five Artist Shows, Kenny Schachter Rove, London, United Kingdom
Trunk of Humours, curated by Kathy Grayson, Deitch Projects, New York, US
Majority Whip, curated by Kathy Grayson and Laura Tepper, White Box,
New York, US
The Hunt For Your Family, curated by Martin Lilja and Amy Giunta, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
The Hunt For Your Family, curated by Martin Lilja and Amy Giunta, Odd Number, Stockholm
Becoming Giants, curated by Camila Marambio, Le Roy Neiman Gallery / Columbia University, US

2003
Baby You Can’t Drive My Car, curated by Kenny Schachter, Cooper Classics,
New York, US
Art Band, curated by Kenny Schachter, New York, US
Lead Poisoning, curated by Rich Jacobs and Marsea Goldberg, New Image Art, West Hollywood, US
Funny Cry Happy, New Image Art, West Hollywood, US
Crazy Bastard, curated by Marsea Goldberg, New Image Art, West Hollywood, US
Collective Conscious, curated by Scenic, Mavi, New York, US

2002
Miami, curated by Kenny Schachter, Miami, US
Tensionism, curated by Kenny Schachter, Kenny Schachter/Rove, New York, US
Dime Bag, curated by Jordin Isip and Rodger Stevens, New Image Art, Los Angeles, US
Super Hero, curated by Marsea Goldberg, New Image Art, West Hollywood, US
Panorama, curated by Jordin Isip and Rodger Stevens, The Front Room,
Brooklyn, US
Mica & Misaki, curated by Victoria Reis and Jayme McLellan, Transformer, Washinghton D.C., US

2001
The Exquisite Day Project, curated by Jordin Isip and Rodger Stevens, Plus Ultra, Brooklyn, US

2000
Move East, curated by Rich Jacobs, One Pixel, Philadelphia, US


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2019
Chewey Bone Zine, fabric bound with unique handmade dog attached, 20 pages
Yogi Master Zine, staple and string boind with fabric tab and ornament from India travels, 20 pages
Topo Zine, string bound with special ornaments, 16 pages

Selected Works
NATURE TALES. 2022
ACRYLIC AND FABRIC ON CANVAS
120 X 170 CM
FLUFFY FOREST. 2022
ACRYLIC AND FABRIC ON CANVAS
120 X 150 CM
Romantic Tales. 2022
Acrylic and fabric on canvas in floating mansonia frame
103.5 x 123.5 cm
HAIRY TALES. 2022
INSTALLATION VIEW
v1 gallery
OK Rider. 2022
ACRYLIC AND FABRIC ON CANVAS
83.5 x 113.5 cm
Hairy Tales. 2022
Acrylic and fabric on canvas in floating mansonia frame
123.5 x 103.5 cm
OK Magic. 2022
Acrylic and fabric on canvas in floating mansonia frame
123.5 x 103.5 cm
HAIRY TALES. 2022
INSTALLATION VIEW
v1 gallery
GOOD MORNING CHU. 2017
Acrylic on canvas
203 x 152 cm
MIDNIGHT LOVE. 2017
Acrylic on canvas
203 x 152 cm
Meow Meow Walk. 2022
Acrylic and fabric on canvas in floating mansonia frame
78.5 x 58.5
Poofy Painter. 2022
Acrylic and fabric on canvas i floating mansonia frame
78.5 x 58.5
RAYMOND'S FLOWERS. 2008
Mixed media on canvas
132 x 183 cm
ROMANTIC MELODY. 2017
INSTALLATION VIEW
v1 gallery
ROMANTIC MELODY. 2017
INSTALLATION VIEW
v1 gallery
ROMANTIC MELODY. 2017
INSTALLATION VIEW
v1 gallery

Store

Pencil Exercise. 2018

Misaki Kawai

Pencil Exercise. 2018

$105
Yogi Master Zine. 2019

Misaki Kawai

Yogi Master Zine. 2019

$27
Hairy Tales, 2022

Misaki Kawai

Hairy Tales, 2022

$17
Poko Kawai Zine. 2019

Misaki Kawai

Poko Kawai Zine. 2019

$27