Masumi Sakagami



My artistic journey began at the age of seven in the city of Nara, Japan – the heart and origin of Buddhism – as a student of a calligraphy and classical Kanji and Hiragana (Japanese characters and alphabet) at the most prestigious school of art, Nara Kyouiku Daigaku Tokusetu Syodouka.

I have since been perfecting my abstract paintings and the Japanese classical calligraphy of Kanji and Hiragana with traditional water-based Japanese ink, Sumi. Through Sumi, my abstract paintings and classical calligraphy can express the raw diversity of the Japanese psyche.

As a Japanese woman, I try to portray the hidden feelings and unexpressed opinions of unforgettable past love. The simplistic nature of my work depicts the emotional sensations and imaginative state of mind of Japanese society. Over the years, as a professional artist, I have also explored the unique perspective of peace and calmness of the Japanese people, using free-hand Sumi paintings.

My work fuses abstract paintings with classical Japanese calligraphy which focuses on the movements and versatility of line compositions. I aim to merge the paradoxically classic yet contemporary Japanese social and human phenomena with feminine philosophical depth. In order to articulate such feelings and thoughts, I use Sumi as the core medium for my paintings. I mainly utilize three kinds of Sumi expressionism, as it has an enriched nature of appearance that changes along with its usage.

I try to imbue my work with an emotional quality that often leans toward the meditative and serene. Years of experiencing Japanese socio-cultural ethics has led to my distinctive work driven by my intuition. My paintings portray an invisible, yet common aspect of feminine strength and inner beauty that resonates in all women regardless of age. Thus, it influences interpersonal relationships with its unspoken emotions of Japanese society that transcend time.

As any recent arrival to New York I have been exposed to an explosion of cultures not experienced in Japanese life. I am fascinated how this society, which from Japanese eyes should result in discord and animosity, instead coexists in understanding and acceptance. I take inspiration in this. We are born alone and die alone. The time in between birth and death, we seek companionship and Love. We should accept this so we too can connect to the expanded living universe. When I paint my brush takes its inspiration from somewhere outside my being. This is why I paint


Painting Program

Masumi's Upcoming Sessions

Mar, 2024

Japanese Sumi Ink Art
Masumi Sakagami
Studio C
Saturday : 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Runs on:
  • Mar 23
  • Mar 30
  • Apr 6
  • Apr 13

Instructor Correspondence