Hiroko Otake



日本画家 大竹寛子

Born in 1980 in Japan. Currently based in Tokyo.


Tokyo University of the Arts
Major:Japanese Painting
Graduation Date: March 2006
Master's course :2009
Doctor's degree :2011


  • 2014、The Emerald Grant Award (Tokyo National University of the Arts)
  • 2013,2012,2010,2009,2008 Soga win a prize
  • 2009, The 19th scholarship Award (Sato International Cultural Scholarship Foundation)
“Psyche-Butterfly symbol of life-” Hiroko Otake solo exhibition/ SEIBU Ikebukuro Art Gallery
“AFINITIES” AMBIT Gallery Barcelona, Spain
“colors –relative and accordance-“
“Japanese Flowers” IAM Gallery New York, USA
Art Fair Tokyo 2014 “Hiroko Otake Solo Exhibition” Tokyo International Forum , Tokyo, Japan
Art Factory’s –IKI- Grope Show/ Tokyu Shibuya department store Art Gallery
Solo exhibition Art Gallery Minazuki/ Gifu, Japan
“Zig Zag –Harmonica books-“/ Stuttgart, Germany
“nine colors Ⅺ”/Shibuya-Seibu department store Art Gallery, Tokyo
“Art NAGOYA 2013”/ Westin Nagoya Hotel
“New City Art Fair TAIPEI” /Taipei, Taiwan
“Art tea ceremony”/ Park Hotel Tokyo
Art Fair Tokyo 2012 “Hiroko Otake Solo Exhibition”/ Tokyo International Forum , Tokyo, Japan
「Hiroko Otake & Paola Masi “AFFINITIES”」/Megumi Ogita Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
“ART NAGOYA 2011” /The Westin Nagoya Castle Hotel, Nagoya, Japan
“Art for Tomorrow” East Japan earthquake reconstruction assistance charity exhibition /Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan

Hiroko Otake : Japanese Painter

The main themes of my paintings are butterflies and flowers. They are coupled together into never ending instants, veiled in uncertainty, where every minute of existence is constantly renewed.

I can feel sincerity and candor while observing the nature and the butterflies.

Butterfly here means “Psyche” (from the Greek “ψυχή “ (psūkē) was “life” in the sense of “breath”, “spirit”, “soul”. And ultimately “ego” in the sense of “conscious personality”) I thus paint butterflies in my works representing these symbols: soul, mind, “Numen”(the power of God) , but also beauty, shimmer, and spiritual renaissance.

I started painting butterflies as I felt that similar to them I was able to modify and renew shape, with the unrestricted chances deriving from the ephemeral and transient nature of the change.

While painting butterflies and focusing my mind on the literature concerning such theme I have discovered their many symbolic meanings.

Through my work I want to express my impressions and feelings combined with the symbolism of butterflies.

Japanese Painting (Japanese-style Painting/Nihonga)

Japanese Painting or Japanese-style painting is a term created during the Meiji period to differentiate traditional Japanese paintings from Western-style paintings. The expression Japanese painting has two meanings: one denotes traditional Japanese paintings and the other signifies the new “style” of paintings that evolved when elements of Western techniques were incorporated. Today, the term Japanese painting refers not to a particular style alone, but it is used in a broader sense to refer to various types of paintings in which a brush is used to paint pictures with Indian ink or mineral pigments mixed with animal glue on a support such as silk or Japanese paper.

Japanese Painting should not be restricted to the word itself, but, by reconstructing something original from the Japanese tradition. It must be a source of inspiration for new generations.