Mami Kato is a Japanese-born artist based in Philadelphia. She graduated from Musashino Art University and Tokyo School of Art in Japan and University of the Arts in the US, where she studied oil painting and sculpture. After working as an artist in Japan for several years, she moved permanently to the US in the 1990’s and has since been actively showing in both the US and abroad. One of her most recent notable shows took place at Shanghai Wutong Art Museum in 2018. Her work is represented in private, corporate, and public collections in the US, Japan, and China.
Her work begins with an abstract concept or notion and interacts with the sculptural process to give form to this as visual poetry. The material she chooses is often a tool or metaphor used to support the conceptual goal of a sculpture. Best known for her use of rice straw, Kato uses this material to not only reference her Japanese heritage, but to represent its ability to sustain life and the potential of energy to surge from the earth. Her piece entitled ‘Umbilical Field’ is quite literally an umbilical cord connecting the energy that springs from the earth to humankind. Her intention is to visualize the invisible order / dynamism of nature and the universe through her art-making.