"Mini Worlds of Miyazaki & Friends" an Exhibition by JP Neang

"Mini Worlds of Miyazaki & Friends" an Exhibition by JP Neang

Posted by emma on 15th Jul 2021


at Woot Bear Gallery

Music by druskee and friendssf

JP Neang is bringing an exhibition to Woot Bear that reminds us what it feels like to travel and form connections after a year of isolation. Neang is bringing the world to us in this show through her work and the art of her students from Studio Kura in Fukuoka, Japan.

The innate intimacy of Neang's work is purposeful and meant to inspire introspection in the viewer. These miniature scenes are an "investigation of the human capacity." The subject matter of this exhibition focuses on the fantastical worlds brought to life by Hayao Miyazaki, who JP tells us is the artist that has had a great impact on her life and in her art. 

The art of the 241 children included in this show are depictions of Yōkai (妖怪),or supernatural entities and spirits of Japanese folklore. Bringing these students' art all the way to San Francisco is a celebration of community, locally or from afar!

Neang's influence as a creative educator isn't limited to the Bay Area and Japan, she has also partnered with Guinean Arts & Culture (Africa), Light & Leadership (Peru), and Barefoot College (India) in an effort to inspire creativity in children internationally.

Featuring new inspired mini Miyazaki works by JP Neang alongside 241 original Yōkai drawings from Studio Kura Arts Students Itoshima, Japan.

Show pieces will be up online at 8pm PST


Many of my works focus on the intimacy of scale and are devoid of color. I describe a lot of my works as “Heavy Ground” to focus a viewer's perspective from a birds eye view. The greatest weight of life rests in the palm of our hands, which is both literal and symbolic in the illustrations that I create. The deeper I dive into the "weight," the more I feel I can challenge my own understanding of our human capacity. Due to the fragility of my medium on a micro-scale, I feel I can provide perspectives outside of my own to feel a greater significance of the self.

"Thrive courageously in your convictions and give abundantly with kindness." - JP

Letter From Studio Kura Art School Director, Saori:

"First, we'd like to say Arigato to JP, Thank you for such a wonderful project and giving the great opportunity.

Studio Kura is an art space located in Fukuoka, Japan. It operates an artist-in-residence program and painting classes. About 300 children attend the kids' art classes, where children as young as 3 and 12 enjoy painting and making crafts.

Nowadays, unfortunately, children's lives continue to be very uncomfortable in Japan. There are restrictions on travel, etc., making it difficult to engage in activities of any kind. Also, opportunities to experience culture have been drastically reduced.

In such a situation, Studio Kura hope that through our art activities, even if only a little, children's minds will be enriched and they will be able to have a good time.

This time, the children drew their own original characters on postcards. They thought about the character's personality, chose the tools to draw it, and sent it off to San Francisco with the feeling that the character would travel on their behalf.

Before drawing, everyone learned about San Francisco, its places and culture. They created images and thought about the differences and connections between Japan and San Francisco.

As you all know, Japan has a lot of characters. We apparently like to think about anime and the familiar characters for each region and place.

The Japanese are a nation that has naturally accepted the idea that gods reside in various things. This may have influenced us.

So the children are very good at drawing characters. This time, we decided to send more than 240 characters to San Francisco. Is there a favorite character of yours? We hope that you will enjoy our drawings.

Thank you and best regards.

From the all of Studio Kura"