Emi Motokawa's creations are inspired by spiritualism. She likes to take universal Buddhist concepts and interpret it through her modern, figurative style.  Many of the characters she paints have big eyes because the eyes are the window to the soul.  Through her creations, she hopes will tickle your soul. 

Emi was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven.  In 1995, she attended a Buddhist seminary in Tokyo and it was then when she first desired to translate Buddhist ideas into images.  She has also crocheted several 3 foot Kokeshi dolls that were featured at the Japanese American National Museum.  Most recently Emi won Metro's poster contest, "Through the Eyes of the Artist," for the City of Monterey Park.  The posters can be seen inside Metro rail and buses running throughout Los Angeles County.

Selected shows

2017 Semiotic Sutras, Kaleidoscope Kollective

2017 Celestial Mosaic, solo show, Avenue 50 Studio

2016  Buddha Nature, Art of Emi Motokawa solo show, Hsi Lai Temple Fo Guang Yuan Gallery

2016  Metro:  Through the Eyes of the Artist

2013  Laluzapalooza Jury Winner Show, La Luz de Jesus Gallery

2011  31st Black Doll Show, William Grant Still Art Center

2011  Five Elements/One World, L.A. Municipal Art Gallery

2009  Kokeshi:  From Folk Art to Art Toy Show, Japanese American National Museum

2008  The Hive Gallery​


Brooklyn & Boyle


Japanese American Museum


Project NewSpeak


Artist ​​Emi Motokawa  ​AKA Emi M.

Copyright Emi Motokawa. All rights reserved.