Spanish version


Mirai Kobayashi: the essence of water


Mirai KobayashiA Japanese in Madrid

Mirai Kobayashi was born in Mito, a city at about 100km from Tokio.
Mirai was a baby when his family decided to come to Spain, to Madrid, where they lived in the area called la Latina. His father was a ballet dancer. Through a dancing teacher he came into contact with flamenco. This was one of the reasons for his family coming to Madrid, as his father wanted to learn more about flamenco dancing, which he still dances nowadays.

When he was 5 years old, Mirai started learning how to paint with a private teacher. But the real turning point came when he went to the art school 'Estudio-Arte 13'. He was nine years old when he started learning with professor Manuel Herrera, who has dedicated his entire life to painting. He took Mirai to the Prado Museum, where he would learn composition by the classic painters. Kobayashi has been mainly influenced by Tiziano.

When Mirai Kobayashi was 13 years old, he had already decided that his future was Mirai Kobayashi - unfinished paintingconnected to painting.

Since the year 2000 he has taken part in several individual and collective exhibitions.
In the year 2001 he took part at an engraver course with Joan Barbera who was Joan Miro´s engraver. Barbera also influenced Kobayashi´s art. For Mirai, Barbera represents heterodoxy. His way of thinking and working is free. Barbera´s mentality made Kobayashi look at art from a different point of view. ‘You can see that you paint well, but nature working maybe even better, water, acids….’.

Kobayashi is a mixture of two cultures. On one hand he is Japanese and on the other hand Spanish. Although he is completely integrated in Spanish culture, this fact has made him ask himself who he really is. This doubt makes him be constantly seeking for an answer. Our roots, our origin influences us, the way we think and how we paint.

Also the fact of living in Madrid has marked him. As he says ‘the walk’ through Madrid is wonderful. Frequently we do not even realize how beautiful all those buildings are, they represent beauty integrated in daily life.

Asked about what he would have become, if he had not chosen painting, Mirai thinks that he would probably have become a musician.

Mixture of cultures

Mirai Kobayashi - unfinished paintingsKobayashi says that in the West we find art with ‘capital’ letters. Art is not a philosophy in other countries. Western art is solid, a stone, while in the East they look for the essence of material in liquids. Human beings think about objects with their eyes.

When Kobayashi paints, he has the painting already in his mind, but quite often he gets carried away by the painting itself.

At the moment he is dedicating his work to the essence of water. He paints on paper over a board. He uses a paintbrush and Indian ink or similar materials and water. Obviously, once you have used water, you cannot change the end result, it cannot be corrected. For Mirai the essence of objects is watery.

Colour and light

In his first works, Mirai exercised with colours. Colours reflect emotions. He states that Mirai Kobayashi - Collage-Copperthese first works followed a figurative style pursuing choreographic structuralism, i.e. they show a Western structure with Eastern brushstrokes.

From a pictorial point of view Kobayashi matured very early. He thinks with the paintbrush.

He states that he does not want to paint colours any more. He is currently in a logical and structuralistic phase. Colours are reflections of light and what reflects everything is metal, like copper or silver, which he uses in his paintings.

In his paintings we can see genetic and binary codes which symbolize science. It is science that pulls human thinking.

In all of his works Kobayashi always paints a cup of coffee. Cafeterias have been a source of inspiration for the artist and this is his tribute.

Influences and Preferences

Mirai Kobayashi thinks that eventually he will end up living in Japan, but not before Berlin or New York.

Among the painters that have influenced his work he mentiones Tiziano, Miró, Picasso and Roberto Matta.

Among his favourite places in Madrid are, apart from the Prado and the Reina Sofia Mirai Kobayashi - studioMuseum, Plaza de Oriente and, above all, bohemian cafes.

For some time, he was member of the Ateneo, were he took part in philosophical meetings.

Among his long term projects, is the use of new technologies and an activity with a friend of his, a philosopher. The project will be related to ‘Art and Philosophy’ and open to the public in a web page. There will also be several activities in art galleries.

Since he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed in the evening, Kobayashi is dedicated to art, although he does not follow an established schedule. He has no other job.

Kobayashi comments that most of his paintings are bought by private clients. Currently he is trying to enter the Japanese market.

The passion he shows while talking about art, light, water and his deep thoughts, are a firm basis to asure that he will be one of the great artists of the future.

Mirai Kobayashi - Collage
Mirai Kobayashi - Blue Collage
Mirai Kobayashi - Silver Collage
Mirai Kobayashi-detail


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