不確かな家、透明なからだ/ Uncertain Home, Transparent Body  at GALLERY MoMo, Tokyo, Japan

Courtesy, Photo and Translation: GALLERY MoMo


When I sew prickly, I am reminded of my childhood.


I had been taught to cook and sew at home since I was a child. For a while, all I had in my school bag was a sewing kit, and neither of these things bothered me. However, when I recall being forced to wear girly clothes and being severely scolded for cutting my hair short because it looked like a boy's, I now think that there must have been an unconscious intention to teach me these things. When I realized this, I felt bewildered.


Sewing has kept women tied to their homes for a long time, but at the same time, the acquisition of skills has given them the power to be independent, and needlework has been one of the few means of expression.

In recent years, "handicrafts," which have become peripheral, have come into the spotlight, and people's complex feelings toward "home" and "family" have come to be expressed in various ways.


Why is it that time spent sewing with a needle is still so important in our lives?

Such a question is the starting point of this project.


Naomi Okubo, 2023













2023年 大久保如彌



緻密的玻璃空間/ Closely Glazed Spaces at ELSA GALLERY 2022, Taipei, Taiwan

Courtesy and Photo: ELSA GALLERY


The inspiration for this exhibition came from a moment I experienced in the summer of 2019. I found myself standing in a wildflower garden on a Brooklyn rooftop at sunset, gazing out at huge round tanks used for sewage disposal that were illuminated in purple light. The juxtaposition between the wildflowers, the round tanks, and the Manhattan skyline was almost like an SF movie scene and it shocked me. I also realized it represented a profound contradiction in our world.


The exhibition's title, "Closely Glazed Spaces," was inspired by Dr. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward's 1842 book, "On the Growth of Plants in Closely Glazed Cases," which details his invention of the Wardian Case, the forerunner of modern terrariums and vivariums. After he realized that polluted air during the industrial revolution in London was poisoning the ferns in his garden, he found that sealed glass structures can sustain ecosystems with plants, bugs, and a small amount of soil. His invention helped to understand the natural ecosystem and facilitated the transportation of plants worldwide.


In this exhibition, I am interested in the concept of a sealed environment, where we can control and isolate the surroundings. Inside this space, we can breathe warm, clean, and humid air, surrounded by beautiful plants and butterflies collected with enthusiasm and desire. Being in such an environment, we can easily ignore the outside world and its problems.


Through the motif of a glasshouse in all of my works, I aim to highlight the irony of human beings. As someone who grew up in a dysfunctional family and felt trapped for a long time, this theme is also deeply personal to me. We have all experienced the isolation of living through the pandemic. I hope that my exhibition will expand its meaning through my art and speak to the current human condition. 




同場亦將展示大久保如彌全新玻璃雕塑,其創作概念亦與展覽主題相連,玻璃塊中的凹陷空間描繪的是一個人的形體,反向提示著我們以為的存在可能是如此虛無而空洞。(Translated to Taiwanese by ELSA GALLERY)




From here to somewhere at GALLERY MoMo Projects 2021, Tokyo

Courtesy and Photo: GALLERY MoMo


In March 2020, New York was in the midst of a lockdown. I couldn't even go to the studio and was constantly frightened by the sound of ambulances ringing in my apartment. But at the same time, I felt grateful for the opportunity to slow down my daily life and have time to do nothing. It seemed like the opposite of what I had once believed was ideal, yet it allowed me to appreciate the important things I had missed in my busy days. In September 2020, I decided to return to Japan.


The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed inherent contradictions in societies across various countries. I began to contemplate the concept of freedom in a country where freedom is highly valued. However, even if we use one word to describe freedom, each person's definition can hinder the freedom of others and may differ from our own.


I pondered the idea of an ideal country and realized that every country has its own version of an ideal. What may be ideal for one person may not be the same for another.


Based on my experiences during the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 and the nuclear accident, I realized that important truths and inconvenient realities that the government would rather keep hidden are often concealed in beautiful images and words.

Can we break away from the given utopia and venture into the wilderness, living freely while our hands to one another?

Naomi Okubo, 2021










2021年 大久保如彌



"Real Fairytale" Collaborated with LuLu Meng at GALLERY MoMo Projects 2019 Tokyo

Courtesy and Photo: GALLERY MoMo

"Real Fairytale" Collaborated   with LuLu Meng at Spring Break(Residency Unlimited) 2019 NY

Press release by Residency Unlimited/


Real Fairy Tale looks at the impact of Disney’s animated fairy tales films on how women in Asia view themselves or are looked upon, through the lens of two women artists who grew up in Japan and Taiwan. This gendered phenomenon is set against the historical backdrop of WW2 and the Japanese defeat which led to major US and Western European interventions in East Asia. Such globalization led to the introduction of Western fairy tales, and their animated versions with its cultural symbolism became immensely popular in mainstream culture.


Naomi Okubo and Lulu Meng moved to New York as working artists. When they met, they realized that they shared similar experiences growing up watching these Disney films. Expectations on how they should look and behave as young women were directly modeled on the likes of Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty figures with their pale skin and big round eyes standards of beauty. Ironically, Meng and Okubo displayed boyish qualities at an early age and were told that they were not “girly enough”. They recall being confused when asked to act “like a princess, marry a prince and live happily after”. At a later stage, they realized that they had been aware all along that fairy tales are not "real". However it was difficult to shirk aside the social and self-determined pressures on how women should behave that was intrinsically associated to these “stories”.


This is the backbone of Real Fairy Tale. An assertion of self-awareness where two very distinct bodies of work enter into dialogue over shared experience, and then transitions from the personal level to broader societal issues relating to female identity, stereotyped gender and how social norms are generally perceived.




"Piles of the Surface" ELSA ART GALLERY, Taipei Taiwan, January 2018

Emerging Artist Project at Official Residence of Japanese Ambassador in NYC. May 2017.

In Organic:Emerging Japanese Artist in New York

This exhibition introduce emerging artist from Japan whoa are making their marks in their adopted city of New York, the center of the international art world. In each of their chosen mediums, they present divergent, yet correlating, approaches toward the world consisting of both organic and inorganic materials. Some explore the man-made environment as subject and other reflect upon nature. At first glance, they seem to be contrasting attitudes, but all of the featured artists work with a strong awareness that are key aspect of our 21-cnetury reality.


Naomi Okubo: Depicts imagined spaces that are imbued with intimacy and artificiality. The figures recurring in her paintings are eerily unidentified, except for her clothing that overtly accentuates her femininity through colors and floral patterns. As if pulled from theater sets or pages of shopping catalogues, the image of the interior- the world these women inhabit- poses a question of one's identity as both real and artificial. Her love of floral motifs abounds in the work, and Okubo's literally covers herself with patterns and motifs that both camouflage her identity, just as they heighten and compose. 

Co-curators Eric Shiner and Miwako Tezuka

Short Video by FCI (in Japanese)


An article by Nippon Keizai Newspaper (in Japanese)



"THIS IS NOT MY LIFE"  Jan. 16-Feb.13, 2016  GALLERY MoMo Ryogoku, Tokyo, Japan

Courtesy and Photo: GALLERY MoMo

Where should I go? Oct 25-Nov 25, 2014 Hamnmagasinet, Varberg, Sweden

Photo by Lars Danielsson

Have a Party Forever/いつまでもパーティーを  Oct 12- Nov 9, 2013 Gallery MoMo Ryogoku

Courtesy and Photo: GALLERY MoMo



It Seems Like a Dream / それはあたかも夢のように見える   10/22-11/19,2011 GALLERY MoMo Roppongi

Courtesy and Photo: GALLERY MoMo