Photographer: Kunihiko Takaoka
Born in Japan in 1951, Kubo meets Kirié during his university years studying architecture. His career opens in Osaka in 1977, where his first gallery exhibition takes him to other cities throughout Japan drawing strong attention. His one-year stay in Spain in 1984 taught; him sketching techniques. After his return, he creates his original method of mixed media in his works, which is a combination of pastel paint, acrylic paint, fabric, sand, and other materials from his days in Spain.
In 1995, Kubo becomes a victim of the Kobe Earthquake. He witnesses first hand, how natural disaster could leave painful scars in people’s lives and history. Since then, he takes his theme “Japonism in paper”, throughout Japan to capture the vitality of “seasonal traditions” and “food ingredients” from the four seasons and pour them into his Kirié works. His exclusive taste for washi paper, creates fine-tuned work with his knife on one sheet. At times, creating three-dimensional depth using thin washi paper layered in volume, pulls out their original vibrant colors expressing the texture of the subject.
Kubo’s seasonal works garnering immense praise, leads to holding an exhibition in 2008 in New York hosted by “The Nippon Club” receiving sensational response. Appointment of “Special Advisor for Cultural Exchange Agency” by Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan in 2009, Kubo moves to New York in December, spending three months holding activities sharing Japanese culture through Kirié. His gateway to overseas widens to USA, Spain, Portugal, the Philippines, Malaysia, Ukraine, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Turkey, Georgia, and China, holding exhibitions from 2010 onwards, along with cultural exchange through workshops and lectures.
Other works include New Year Greeting post cards and postage stamps for Japan Post, and product package designs. This year in 2016, Kubo is scheduled to visit USA (Philadelphia) in April, and will be holding an exhibition at Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo in July.