Misako Inaoka
Misako Inaoka, Visual Art

Misako Inaoka’s artistic interests arise from the boundary between what we call natural and artificial. She observes the physical and social environment in detail to find hidden beauty and peculiarity in her surroundings, for example, a cell phone antenna in the shape of a pine tree, birds that are not native to the area, artificial rocks in parks, or moss growing in a crack of cement sidewalk. Ms. Inaoka says, “I emphasize these subtle details and exaggerate their illogicality to cultivate my own version of invented creatures and landscapes.”

Misako Inaoka’s artistic interests arise from the boundary between what we call natural and artificial. She observes the physical and social environment in detail to find hidden beauty and peculiarity in her surroundings, for example, a cell phone antenna in the shape of a pine tree, birds that are not native to the area, artificial rocks in parks, or moss growing in a crack of cement sidewalk. Ms. Inaoka says, “I emphasize these subtle details and exaggerate their illogicality to cultivate my own version of invented creatures and landscapes.”

Misako says, “To arouse notions of existence and coexistence, I construct environments that are rooted in the reality of vanishing species and mutating nature. Using minuscule sculptures and interactive site-specific installations created out of items such as mechanical birds, plastic plants and branches, forcing viewers to focus on small details and to take a closer look at their surroundings.”

Misako was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan, and work is strongly influenced by Japanese landscape and garden design. Her recent work is a mixture of her upbringing and inspiration from the urban nature that surrounds her. As a child, she was trained in traditional Japanese art methods. For the past 15 years, her training as an adult has been in the United States studying under American masters of Japanese art forms, such as Printmaking and Ceramics. She developed a unique sensitivity and an ability to observe and compare the aesthetics of design in both foreign and native eyes.

Ms. Inaoka received a BFA for Printmaking in 2001 from RISD and a MFA in 2006 from Mills College. In the last few years, Inaoka had more than nine solo exhibits in the United States and also in Italy. She has worked at Solo Impressing Inc., New York City, and Crown Point Press, San Francisco, as an assistant for master printers. She has taught printmaking and bookbinding at the Japanese Culture Center of Northern California in San Francisco.

Inaoka works with mixed media now in sculpture and site-specific installations. She is represented by Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco. Her work has been shown in Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, de Young Museum, and de Saisset Museum, as well as galleries in New York, Seattle, Texas, and Miami, in Japan, England, China, and Italy. She is a recipient of artist residencies at The Headlands Center for the Art, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and the De Young Museum.

Eishin Nose
Eishin Nose, Piano

Jazz pianist and composer Eishin Nose resides in New York. He hails from Hokkaido, Japan where he began studying classical piano at age 4. By age 10, he was mastering the clarinet and playing in Hokkaido, Otaru, which began years of performance with an orchestra. At age 19, he was working as a professional pianist. In 1992, Eishin moved to California to study at Foothill College where he worked as a pianist in the jazz big band. He eventually joined the Fun Fair jazz vocal group which toured and performed in many jazz festivals around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Jazz pianist and composer Eishin Nose resides in New York. He hails from Hokkaido, Japan where he began studying classical piano at age 4. By age 10, he was mastering the clarinet and playing in Hokkaido, Otaru, which began years of performance with an orchestra. At age 19, he was working as a professional pianist. In 1992, Eishin moved to California to study at Foothill College where he worked as a pianist in the jazz big band. He eventually joined the Fun Fair jazz vocal group which toured and performed in many jazz festivals around the San Francisco Bay Area. Fun Fair made one CD, which later obtained the 18th Down Beat Award in 1995.In 1995, Eishin moved to New York City, enrolled in Mannes College of Music and The New School where he obtained a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. While at Mannes and New School, he studied with Phil Markowiz, Richie Beirach, Jackie Byard and Barry Harris. He has also studied with classical pianist Herman Diaz.

Eishin has since collaborated with established musicians including James Cammack, Mat Wilson, Gregorie Maret, Yosuke Inoue, Eliot Zigmund, Jeff Williams, Taro Koyama, Satoishi Takeishi, Dave Ambrosi, Joe Morello, Pheeroan Aklaff, Lonnie Plaxico, David Smith, Shunzo Ohno, Fukushi Tainaka, Take Toriyama, Yoshi Waki, Yutaka Uchida, Danny Zanker, Noriko Ueda, Tim Armacost, Rikiya Higashihara, Satoshi Inoue, Tsutomu Nakai, and many others.

“Here Now Hear,” Eishin’s first album was released in 2001 featuring Yosuke Inoue on bass, Mat Wilson on drums, and Gregorie Maret on harmonica. One of his compositions from his album, “Remember to Remember,” was featured on the international television channel “News Express FCI” in the United States and JSTV “FNN NEWS” in Europe. This aired daily starting in 2002 and 2004.

In 2003, he joined the group called J-Yorkers as a pianist, as well as the arranger and composer. Mitsuko and J-Yorkers released Blue Canary from Nippon Crown. This album was awarded Best Album for the 95th Annual Gold Disc Award by the popular Japanese jazz magazine Swing Journal.

Eishin tours Japan twice a year and plays various New York City clubs like the world famed jazz club, “BLUE NOTE,” and most cutting edge clubs in town like, “Stone” and “Knitting Factory.” Besides playing jazz, in 2005, Eishin played, “Rhapsody in Blue” with his home town orchestra in Japan.

Takehiro Ueyama
Takehiro Ueyama, Choreographer-Dancer

Takehiro Ueyama was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. In 1991, he moved to the United States to study at The Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 1995. As a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1995 to 2003, he toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.

Takehiro Ueyama was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. In 1991, he moved to the United States to study at The Juilliard School in New York, graduating in 1995. As a member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1995 to 2003, he toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.

The choreographer-dancer founded the TAKE Dance Company in 2004, in New York City. With traces of his Japanese heritage, his work is inspired by the beauty of nature and the nature of humanity and equally uses powerful athleticism and delicate gesture to ensure a place on stage for the heart. He has created a vast repertoire of work featuring sensitive and exciting choreography on a mission to present a feast for the eyes, the mind, and the soul.

His television and film credits include appearances on PBS for Dance in America’s Acts of Ardor and Dancemaker, a film by Matthew Diamond. He has also worked with the Martha Graham Ensemble and continues to perform with Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre since 2003. Additionally, Mr. Ueyama teaches contemporary dance technique in several of the major dance schools, universities and festivals throughout the United States, Japan, Spain, and abroad.

Mr. Ueyama’s choreography has been performed for audiences worldwide, including Central Park SummerStage, Jacob’s Pillow, the New Noises Festival at Perry Mansfield, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, Joyce SoHo, Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, the Ailey Citigroup Theater, PS/21 Chatham, and was selected as the 3rd prize- winner at the International Modern Dance Choreographic Competition in Spain. He has restaged works for The Alvin Ailey School, Tallahassee Ballet, PHILADANCO for the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, New School University, The Juilliard School, Purchase College, Randolph College, Perry Mansfield, and International Summer Dance in Burgos, Spain.

Jennifer Dunning of The New York Times raves: “Takehiro Ueyama stands for the easy clarity of his dancing. All will be right with the world when Mr. Ueyama is on stage….. Dancing today can look like an exhausting dash to the finish line. Mr. Ueyama brings a soft and silky calm and sunny sweetness to everything he does.”