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Mio Shirai was born in 1962 in Kyoto, Japan. From the age of 7 she lived in Tokyo. She studied at Tokyo University of Fine Arts, Tokyo (BA, MFA). Between 1993 and 2006 she lived in New York. She currently lives and works in Tokyo. Her works has been shown widely in Japan, Europe and United States with in numerous exhibitions such as 7th Triennale India (New Delhi), Shedhalle (Zürich), The Munichipal Museum Prague, Kunstlerhaus Graze, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (UK), Exit Art (New York), Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale 2000 (Niigata), Artist File 2008 The National Art Center Tokyo, Setouchi Art Triennale 2013, Aichi Triennale 2013, Painting Here and Now 2018 Fuchu Art Museum, Tokyo.


Mio Shirai’s work tends to explore on-going issues of relationship among the human being, natural aspects of her environment and artificial aspects of her environment as well as the dynamic boundaries and interchangeable processes of nature’s figure and everyday icons of civilization associated therewith. Her approach encompasses as well as systematic methodology of viewing universal dynamics: rotating and inverting the relationships among the private or inner world and the public self and otherness – objects can exist as interfaces for transcendence between and among these various aspects of worldliness.


Shirai’s short films draw upon traditional folklore and myths, and popular stories that we all learn as children. Her films retell these stories and myths, imbuing them with a sense of uncanny and absurd — a feeling of being “out of step”, in her own words.