Chiho Iwase

Artist Biography

Chiho Iwase was born in Japan, currently lives and works in London.

​She studied Fine Art/Sculpture at Chelsea College of Art & Design (University of the Arts London) after she had training in drawing and painting in Japan.

Iwase’s work covers painting, drawing, illustration, sculpture, and installation. Her sculptures contain the quality of monstrosity and cuteness, which reflects her inner conflict and immaturity hidden in adulthood.

She recently focuses on animistic thoughts in Japanese culture and works on portrait style painting showing 'human as a part of nature’ and 'anthropomorphised natural spirits’.   

Artist Statement

Past Exhibitions / Residency 

I am working on portrait paintings which are not reproduction of individual expressions but refer to our sensibility and spiritual energy. I attempt to portray mythological figures rising up within my imaginary narratives based on my social experiences and cultural studies.

     Life drawing is essential in my practice. Understanding human bodies in drawing evokes my imagination and leads me to new ideas. In addition, images of human bodies are my main tool to express emotions, tones, and invisible connections between human existence and environment.

     Since I had spent a month drawing nature in Finland last September, my consideration about animism has been increased. It gave me an opportunity to observe nature in animistic way as I realised that I could only open the doors of my perception when I feel I am a part of nature. This idea is reflected in my current work of anthropomorphic nature. I am willing to develop my thoughts about this as it is the fundamental of my view and it would be a key to understand my origin.


© 2020 created by Chiho Iwase

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