Mayumi Tsubokura

Surf Artist

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Mayumi Tsubokura with Kelly Slater

Montmartre, France (Japanese)

Mayumi Tsubokura was born in Tokyo in 1952. Raised in a traditional Japanese sprit, he was introduced to art by his father, a writer, who also encouraged him to practice various martial arts & teachings: Kendo, Iaido, Judo, Karate, Shiatsu…

He discovered surfing at 17 in Shimoda and soon after in Hawaii, where his life changed as he put away years of Japanese martial discipline. A changed man, he left in 1973 a westernized Tokyo for a new life in Paris, where he entered the famous Beaux-arts school. He worked as a designer, jeweler and bodyguard… His works of art, portraits, landscapes, animals were in a symbolic style.

Travelling to Tahiti in the early 80s, painting waves for his fellow surfer friends marked a turning point in his art. Mayumi met a wide range of people in Paris. His expertise as a shiatsuka-karateka, his kindness, his genuine passion for the ocean attracted and fascinated surfing's most influential people. Inspired by these characters, he conveyed their haunted love, their humility and their great respect for the ocean in his paintings. Sharing a lot during his travels and exhibitions, his influences changed as time went by, molding an art with Japanese roots and European technique into a unique style.

Mayumi paints the splendor and sometimes the brutality of the Ocean waves, the Pacific landscapes. Expressions of surfing lifestyle's raw richness, of the polynesian people and nature's beauty. Wave portraits, ocean faces. A contemporary vision on a universal heritage, eidetic pictures where realism encounters romanticism.

Exhibitions / projects:

1986-1991
Involved in the production of Uhaïna's Nuits de la Glisse : Tahitian Dream 1 & 2, Maui Local, La Vie en Rose, Surfing France, Hawaiian Juice.

1994-2004
Various exhibitions on the French South-west shore, alongside the ASP Championships, in the Biarritz Surf Festival. Numerous shows in Biarritz and Hossegor's casino.

1999
Exhibition, Musée de la Mer de Biarritz.

2001
Exhibition, Assembly of French Polynesia, Papeete, Tahiti.

1999-2004
Launched the Riding Giants movie project with Frank Marty, Darrick Doerner and Laird Hamilton.

2005-2010
Exhibitions in the official Polynesian delegation office, boulevard Saint Germain and in other events, Paris, France.

Exhibition, la Géode, for the preview of the OMNIMAX 3D movie - Kelly Slater Ultimate Wave Tahiti, Paris.

Permanent exhibition:
Noni Maui, Haiku, Maui, Hawaii.

Follow Mayumi on Twitter (@mayumitsubokura)

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