30 Jun ‑ 4 Jul 2020 (everyday)
8/F, H Queen's, 80 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong
contributed by

Mizuki Nishiyama
30 June – 4 July 2020

Presented by: MW Michael Wong
Venue sponsor: Whitestone, 8/F, H Queen's, 80 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong
Beneficiary: Operation Smile Hong Kong
Media preview: Tuesday, 30 June, 3-5pm
Private view: Tuesday, 30 June, 6-8pm (by RSVP)

MW Michael Wong is pleased to present SHUNGA, Mizuki Nishiyama’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong at Whitestone. Three dedicated paintings by the artist generously donated to Operation Smile for auction in August will also be showcased. A portion of proceeds from the exhibition sales and all proceeds from the auction will benefit Operation Smile to fund free, safe and high-quality surgeries for children with cleft conditions in developing countries.

The title of the exhibition directly references shunga, a traditional Japanese form of erotic art on ink paintings or woodblock prints produced mainly in the Edo period (1600-1868). Literally meaning “spring pictures”, shunga destigmatized sex and celebrated intimacy as beautiful and natural. Alluding to concepts in Edward W. Said’s 1978 post-structuralist novel “Orientalism”, Nishiyama delves deeper in her works to explore the patronization of eastern culture that has evolved into “orientalism”. As an artist of mixed Japanese descent, the artist bridges her Japanese heritage with nuanced concepts such as modern orientalism to desexualize lust.

Despite being in the 21st century, Nishiyama still inevitably experiences cultural adhesion. SHUNGA transcends traditional Japanese aesthetics and Western stereotypes. In continuation with concepts regarding human fragility, as well as the artist’s cultural identity, SHUNGA liberates and brings light to the vulnerable aspects of our beings. Both as an Asian Artist and Asian woman, the artist hopes to elevate her sense of identity and humanity through these works.

Nishiyama’s previous series An Exploration of Human Fragility: Love and Lust explored the gentler aspects of humanity. One of the inspirations stemmed from Italian Renaissance poet, Dante Alighieri’s narrative poem The Divine Comedy, completed in 1320 AD. Captivated by Dante’s approach of exploring intimacy through a unique moral and philosophical lens, her paintings in this series are tempestuous, impassioned works of art that manifest aspects of human fragility and vulnerability.

In this exhibition, Nishiyama also presents her three dedicated paintings to Operation Smile, Bloom, Nurture, and Paths (all 2020). Inspired by nature and transformation. Nishiyama approaches this series with themes of hope, evolution, and life.

Nishiyama adds, “This series is a mirror. I want the audience to take a good look at themselves. Living with dignity and pride is a deserved right. It is our civil responsibility to make righteous decisions. I am showing the transformative impact [Operation Smile] offers.”


Media inquiry: Aureole Shum | +852 2500 8125 | [email protected]
Hi-res images download: shorturl.at/ikGSW
MW Michael Wong: www.mwmichaelwong.com
Mizuki Nishiyama: www.mizukinishiyama.com
Operation Smile Hong Kong: www.hkoperationsmile.org