Naomi Kobayashi

Naomi Kobayashi (Japanese: 小林 尚美, Hepburn: Kobayashi Naomi, born 1945) is a Japanese textiles, paper, installation and sculpture artist.[1]

Naomi Kobayashi
EducationMusashino Art University
Known forPaper, Textiles, Installation Sculpture

Early life and educationEdit

Naomi Kobayashi was born in Tokyo, Japan, and lives in Kyoto, Japan.[2] She studied textiles, printing and weaving at Musashino Art University.[3] She graduated in 1969.[3] She was married to the late Masakazu Kobayashi, with whom she collaborated.[3]


Early workEdit

Kobayashi started out as a weaver but became entranced by thread, by the paradox that she described as "so gentle" and "so strong".[4] For the next fifteen years she explored the soft yet strong paradox in wall reliefs and sculptures.[3] This involved using her own off-loom technique where she glued strands of yarn next to each other on a board creating a ribbed texture.[3] On top of this she placed layers of fibre in parallel to this texture, which she built up to create a three-dimensional profile.[3] These pieces dealt with the linearity of fibre, while introducing the element of volume[3]

Later workEdit

In 1987 Kobayashi made a shift in her practice, using the same technique of building up using glue; she created a free-hanging ring.[3] While her early work focused on solids, these later works focused on voids.[3] While her early work stayed in her thematic red and what, the later work has shifted some, including pink, which she said was white reflecting red.[3] The scale of many of these pieces is monumental, as she received many architectural commissions during this period[3]


Formal contrasts are at the core of Kobayashi's work; the relationship of horizontal to vertical, of soft to solid straight to curved and ying to yang.[3] For Kobayashi, the properties of her materials convey metaphysical messages.[3] The cosmos and nature are themes She deals with, as well as "singing" with thread[3]

Major exhibitionsEdit

Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – present. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA, Wexner Center for the Arts Columbus, USA, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA, 2015[3]

Tradition Transformed: Contemporary Japanese Textile Art and Fiber Sculpture: Sheila Hicks, Masakazu Kobayashi, Naomi Kobayashi, Chiaki Maki, Kaori Maki, Toshio Sekiji, Hiroyuki Shindo, Chiyoko Tanaka, Jun Tomita. Browngrotta Gallery, Wilton, Conn. USA

Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles. The Museum of Modern Art NYC, USA, 1998

Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie [Laussane Biennale] Laussane, Switzerland, 1977, 1979, 1985, 1989, 1992 (with Masakazu Koyayashi)

FiberWorks—Europe and Japan. National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo & National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto Japan, 1976

One person exhibitions with Masakazu Kobayashi at The Allrich Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Galleries RepresentationEdit

Art2 Gallery in Singapore[5]

The Allrich Gallery, San Francisco, CA (1975-1995)

Public collectionsEdit

The MET[6]

Cleveland Museum of Art

The V&A[7]

Minneapolis Institute of Art[8]


  1. ^ "個性が響き合う共有空間". Kyoto Shinbun. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  2. ^ Porter, Jenelle, ed. (2014). Fiber : sculpture 1960–present. p. 208. ISBN 9783791353821.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Porter, Jenelle; Parrish, Sarah (2014). Fiber : sculpture 1960–present. ISBN 9783791353821.
  4. ^ Koumis, Matthew; Reiter, Laurel; Kawashima, Keiko (1997). Art of the Worlkd: Japan (2. udg. ed.). Winchester: Telos. p. 63. ISBN 9780952626749.
  5. ^ "NAOMI KOBAYASHI". Art-2 Gallery. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Naomi Kobayashi | A Drop Of Cosmos '95 – 2 | The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 6 March 2018.
  7. ^ McCarty, Cara; McQuaid, Matilda (2000). Structure and Surface Contemporary Japanese Textiles ; [publ. on the occasion of the Exhibition "Structure and Surface, Contemporary Japanese Textiles" ; The Museum of Modern Art, New York ... and The Saint Louis Art Museum ; November 12, 1998 to January 26, 1999] (3. pr. ed.). New York: Abrams [u.a.] ISBN 0870700766.
  8. ^ "Pagoda 'Kaze', Kobayashi Naomi". Retrieved 19 March 2023.