Michi (meaning “beauty”) Susan was born in 1935, in Tokyo, Japan. Michi’s parents nourished her artistic interest and talent from the age of five. Michi went on to study visual art at Japan’s Women’s University and Hosei University in Tokyo. At first, she was attracted to the work of the realists, but as her art evolved, she explored the forms of collage and mixed media, blending the delicate and the detailed exceptionally.
Michi repeatedly twists, layers, sews, and weaves a myriad of colored papers and yarn to create wildly colorful and textured collages, the results of which are occasionally reminiscent of a flat piñata. The overall aesthetic of Michi’s collages, the vibrant springtime pinks, and blues of some, the rusts, browns, blacks, and the ghostly autumn whites of others, alludes to an old Japanese custom of tying wishes written on rice paper to the bamboo trees at Shinto shrines: the colors and textures mixing to form a collage of Japanese wishes.
Michi says everything is worthy of a landscape collage – people, places, and experiences. She believes “everyone interprets art differently and it speaks to people in many ways – if you feel a certain way from somebody’s painting, that’s it.”
The peacefulness and harmony of color and form in Michi’s pieces are inspired, in part, by her early morning golf games in the rolling hills near her home. The quiet of those early mornings can be found in the harmonious and careful balance of color and form in her work, and in the patience needed to complete one of her collages.