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KuroKuroShiro VII
KuroKuroShiro X
KuroKuroShiro C
KuroKuroShiro XIII
KuroKuroShiro XVII
KuroKuroShiro CII
KuroKuroShiro XIV
KuroKuroShiro XXIII
KuroKuroShiro CIII
KuroKuroShiro XXIV

Nishiki Sugawara-Beda 


I was born and raised in Japan, where all schoolchildren learn calligraphy. Calligraphy has become an entrance point to understanding my own culture as it allows me to recognize the existence of underlying meanings in all forms—language, images, even the mundane interactions of being. This craft provides the foundation and inspiration for my practice.


To speak to the core of humanity, I seek the connections among cultures both from the past and present, and I focus on tracing traditional Japanese activities back to their origins through my research. My recent works attempt to highlight an oft-forgotten engagement in contemporary society—a deeper connection with one’s own spirit. The paintings both present a moment of this spiritual engagement and invite viewers to engage with the spiritual landscape.


KoroKuroShioro means black-black-white in Japanese. These paintings offer spaces where viewers can privately immerse themselves in their own psychological and spiritual world. They are painted with Sumi—an ink traditionally used in East Asia made of soot and animal glue—that offers a wide range of tones and depths in black. The particles in soot—its main ingredient—carry a spirit that can be absorbed by the maker, viewer, or materials.


I earned a BA from Portland State University in 2005 and an MFA from Indiana University in 2010. I exhibit my work through solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally at commercial and university galleries, art centers, and regional museums. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Art at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

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