MOMOCA

BIO

Born and raised in Japan, Momoca began sewing at the age of six, designing dresses for her dolls, and in high school specialized in fashion design. Wanting to see other parts of the world, she left Japan and moved to California to study fine art. 

There, she explored millinery, fashion design, painting, ceramics, photography and graphic design, and upon graduation she opened her shop in Berkeley, CA, where for ten years she sold her hats, clothings and artworks, while also collaborating with multiple brands, like the Adidas Concept Store, Vidal Sassoon, and Redbull. In 2006 she was recognized as the “Best San Francisco Designer.”

Momoca’s material of choice these days is paper. When Alice Waters (Owner of Chez Panisse) approached her to help with the Edible Schoolyard Project Fundraising Dinner, the idea of using paper came out of convenience, but she soon realized that her background in hat and cloth pattern making, as well as the Origami all Japanese children learn, had given her a set of valuable skills. In the years since, working with paper has become a passion. 

Her paper objects and installations are shown in art galleries around the world and their popularity has led to creating installations of paper flowers, fruits, and vegetables for clients such as Alice Waters (Chez Panisse Restaurant/Edible Schoolyard Project), Evans Hankey (Vice President of Industrial Design, Apple), Stanlee Gatti (celebrity event decorator, client like Elton John), and Lisa Vorce (celebrity wedding planner, client like John Legend).  

Paper may be the most basic of materials, but it has many different attributes and changes drastically depending on the substance with which it interacts. Despite its apparent restrictions and simplicity, the world of paper art is incredibly versatile and Momoca is exploring all of its various properties. 

Momoca is a permanent artist-in-residence at Noyers Sur Serein, Bourbogne, France, where she experiments with paper. Despite its apparent restrictions and simplicity, she finds it to be an incredibly versatile material, constantly discovering new forms of expression. 

Having painted throughout her life, Momoca has begun to explore painting on translucent paper, which she cuts into pieces and overlays to complete artworks.  She is attracted to the paper’s transparency because of its similarity to her experiences while traveling. One must possess an internal delicate, yet flexible quality – as the life of a traveler is uncertain. Through her work, she sees through what is in front of her and discerns what is underneath.  Painting is a way for her to digest and reflect on her memories of traveling, which she transfers onto paper, where they combine, overlap, and fade, becoming patterns of memor

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EXHIBITION
* The Crown, Oakland CA USA 2019 
* Erica Tanov, Berkeley CA USA 2019
* Dessin, Nakameguro Tokyo JAPAN  2018
* Shozo Tonari-Gallery, Kuroiso Tochigi  JAPAN 2018
* Fandesckais, San Francisco, CA. USA 2006
* Anno Domini, San Jose, CA. USA 2002

INSTALLATION
* Paper Installation Underwater Rainbow at La Porte Peinte, Bourgogne, France 2019
* Paper Garland and Paper flowers installation at Camino, Oakland CA USA 2018
* Paper Wisteria Installation at Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA USA 2018
* Paper Flowers at FOG Design+Art at Fort Mason San Francisco, CA USA 2017
* Paper Plants Installation at La Porte Peinte, Bourgogne, France 2017
* Paper Plants Stage Design for Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland, CA 2017
* Paper Pumpkin Installation at La Cornue, Paris, France 2017
* Paper Lemon Installation at Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA USA 2017
* Paper Radish Installation at Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA USA 2016

MURAL
* El Altar, Honduras 2020,   33 x 10 feet    (10 x 3.3 meter)

ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
* La Porte Peinte pour les Arts, Noyers Sur Serein, France 2019
* La Porte Peinte pour les Arts, Noyers Sur Serein, France 2017
* La Porte Peinte pour les Arts, Noyers Sur Serein, France 2016

RECOGNITION
* Best San Francisco Fashion Designer, 2006 by SF Weekly
* Chic-est Women’s Clothing Store, 2005  by East Bay Express

TEACHING
* Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising San Francisco (FIDM) 
* San Francisco Art Institute

COLLABORATION
* Adidas Concept Store, San Francisco – Clothing Design, 2008 ~ 2012
* Vidal Sasoon, San Francisco – Hair Show, Clothing Design, 2008
* Red Bull – San Francisco Gay Parade Civic Center Fashion show, Clothing Design, 2002

WORKSHOP
* Online Workshop 2020 
* Handcrafts Studio School, El Cerrito CA, USA, 2019
* Schole, Kamakura Japan, 2018
* Kushima, Tokyo, Japan, 2018
* Noma, Kyoto, Japan, 2018
* Handcrafts Studio School, El Cerrito CA 2017
* LE 102 Gallery, Paris France, 2017
* La Porte Peinte Art Center, Noyers Sur Serein, France, 2017
* Celery Space, Berkeley CA, USA, 2016

PRESS
* Sitruuna Magazine, Japan
* anan Japan
* Soma Magazine
* Seventeen Magazine
* San Francisco Examiner
* San Francisco Chronicle
* 7 x 7 Magazine
* East Bay Express
* Bridge USA
* Asian Weekly

FOR CHILDREN

Santa Elena, Honduras, 2020 (Paper Flower and Mural)
* Ajrak Primary School, Gujarat, India 2018 (Origami and Japanese Culture)
Shozo Tonari-Gallery, Tochigi Japan, 2018 (Paper Flower Crown)