Kumiko S. McKee was born and grew up in Japan. Kumiko started studying art from high school as a fine art major. After working as a display designer for two years in Tokyo, Japan, and traveling 37 countries with backpack, she moved to the United States and studied painting at the University of Wyoming and obtained BFA degree. She opened her studio "Kumiko Art Studio" and online gallery in 2003.
I'm mainly working with series of paintings that are in some way connected to my life and experiences. My interest in other culture and art in different countries took me on travels across the world during turbulent and historically significant political times, which are clearly reflected in my artwork. To see other culture and communicate with local people at each location where I visited during my travels has greatly influenced my point of view and has led me to focus on cultural and political themes in my paintings.
I believe art is the "voice of the artist" and another language that artists use to speak their mind, how they see the world, and their point of view on life. Also, I believe art is a challenge to break down the norms existing in our everyday life by showing unique or different perspectives.
My previous series were based on Japanese culture themes, which combine Western and Japanese traditions. My challenge in these series was to show the beautiful elements of Japanese culture with the images in a way that people from other cultures could appreciate and make a connection with. Through viewing my paintings, the viewer gains a glimpse into a world they may know little about. I hope my artwork will help people in the world to better understand and bring interest to the Japanese culture as well as the diversity and depth of Asian-Pacific culture.