Artist / designer Yoko Grandsagne was born in Japan in 1957 and has been living in France since 1979. She first moved to Paris, but currently she resides mostly in Nice, on the French Riviera where she has her studio.
Grandsagne was selected by the State University of Kyoto as a candidate for training in Europe where she chose l’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts à Paris to specialise in fresco painting and gain better knowledge of traditional European techniques of mural painting. Her aim has always been that of modernizing the traditional Japanese art, in particular the Rimpa School.
The Rimpa School
Since 16th century, The Rimpa School in Japan has been the most representative artistic and cultural movement. Japanese art crossed the oceans during 19th century and "Japonism" had a great influence on Art Nouveau and Art Deco in Europe and United States. One of the main characteristics of Rimpa (or Rinpa) is the simplification and purification of lines a long with elements of estheticism, spirituality, zen and nature. These essential values of humanity known for centuries in Japan lead to beauty, divinity, harmony in the universe and love of nature. Yoko Grandsagne is defending her 21st century Rimpa art with passion. Her artwork is faithful to the Rimpa school using asymmetric composition, lyricism, the use of gold leaf, bright colours which she modernizes with an abstract gestural technique. She often chooses nature as a theme thereby expressing her spiritual and inside world. The theme of nature is not figurative but abstract, for example in her painting «IRIS», it is a symbol of protection and purification. The creative process involves meditation, during which her hand and body expresses her innermost state. The colours and forms in her paintings are the result of her spiritual and lyrical expression. Her paintings are not only the expression of nature but are a link with the divine world and a dialogue between the visible and the invisible world.
First Japanese designer of accessories Haute Couture at Christian Dior
Yoko had integrated most of these characteristics of RIMPA when in 1983 and for six years, she became the first (and last) Japanese designer of accessories Haute Couture at CHRISTIAN DIOR.
Due to her artistic talent and her abilities to bridge the Orient and the West, the traditional past and today, Le musée départemental des Alpes-Maritimes organised the first personal exhibition of a living painter in 2011
" We discover more and more new technologies; throughout the world, frontiers are disappearing. During this 21st century, the world needs fundamental and essential values. Going back to Beauty, spirituality, harmony and Zen love of nature. I can assert that these values perpetrated during centuries in Japan, will be more and more appreciated throughout the entire world whatever the race or nation."