Nozomi Hatano

Nozomi Hatano grew up in the remote Japanese prefecture of Shimane, and studied linguistics and literature in England. In 2002, she moved to Gaucín where she took up painting using gouache and egg tempera, as well as etching and lithography. She has held several exhibitions in Spain, Gibraltar, and Hong Kong.

Interview with the artist:

How would you describe your very distinctive style?

My work owes as much to dreams and imagination as to observation of my natural surroundings. My paintings are often described as imaginative and magical, but to me they are based on reality, that is to say, my own personal reality.

Throughout my childhood, everyday life in rural Japan showed me that reality was full of the most extraordinary things. I grew up in the countryside, in Shimane prefecture with its rivers and mountains: nature always fascinated me and I would spend hours in the dark mountains exploring.

I am a minimalist when it comes to colours and composition. I mix my own paints, using genuine pigments, and this gives me better control of the colour intensity. I love dark colours, and the challenge of exploring the darker range of feelings and personal phobias or traumata, whether imagined or real.

To what extent is your work influenced by your Spanish environment?

Here in Spain I am deeply affected by the vast landscapes and intensity of the light, which are a stark contrast to the intimacy and darkness of my Japanese background. But in my paintings I can feel them both coming together.

One of my earlier motifs was the pueblos blancos, inspired by my surroundings in Andalucia. I paint miniature pueblos with the vast moonlit sky and my oriental interpretation proved very popular. These evolved into several different versions: sometimes I painted floating shells in the sky with clusters of white houses resembling barnacles, and I still really enjoy coming back to this theme.

Are you exploring any new ideas?

I enjoy painting the feminine form of shells and spirals that are elegant and sensual. But now I feel it might be time to move on. My present focus is on mythology and the exploitation of new techniques such as papier-mache and lithographs, so I am moving towards new frontiers. In this, I rely on intuition: what matters most is the creative process and what it does to me rather than the end result.


University of Sheffield
University of Warwick (MA)

Selected Exhibitions:

2009 Art Gaucín Exposición, Gaucín
International Art Exhibition, Gibraltar
2008 “Tejiendo Sueño”, atelier gallery, Gaucín, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Spain
2007 Sala de Exposiciones Pablo Picasso, Cortes de la Frontera, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Spain
2006 “A 1000m sobre el Mar”, Neilson Gallery, Grazalema, Spain
“Spanish Parables in Watercolour”, Culture Club Gallery, Hong Kong
Exposición de Pinturas II, atelier gallery, Gaucín, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Spain
2005 International Art Exhibition, Gibraltar
Exposición de Pinturas, atelier gallery, Gaucín, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Spain
2004 International Art Exhibition, Gibraltar (Highly Commended)
“Invitation 2004″, atelier gallery, Gaucín, Spain
“Mar e Monte”, Bollag Galleries, Zürich, Switzerland
La Fructuosa, Gaucín, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Spain
2003 Art Gaucín 2, atelier gallery, Gaucín, Spain
Art Gaucín Winter Exhibition, Gaucín, Spain

Studio visits welcome by appointment

Address: Calle Convento 23
29480 Gaucín (Málaga)
Tel: +34 952 151 602 (Landline)