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Press Release

"Passages - Exhibit by Michiko Yamate" American Cultural Center September 1 - September 20, 2001

PR0126E | Date: 2001-08-28

The American Cultural Center will host "Passages - An Exhibit by American resident Japanese painter Michiko Yamate," September 1 - 20, 2001. Located at 54 Nan Hai Road, Taipei, the American Cultural Center auditorium is open to the public from 12 noon until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed Sundays and holidays.

Born in Tokyo, Michiko Yamate grew up in an artistic household. Her father was an award-winning artist and her mother an actress. Her father taught art in Tokyo and was a stage artist for the Kabuki, traditional Japanese theatre production. Michiko learned from her father and assisted him with his paintings of traditional stage art when she was young. She also spent much of her time backstage watching Kabuki actors carefully apply their makeup, traditional wigs, and colorful costumes. These memories and experiences have tremendously influenced her art.

After growing up, Michiko studied art in Canada at the Montreal Centre des Arts Visuels and the prestigious Saidye Bronfman Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1985, she left Japan with her American diplomat husband and since then, because of his postings, has lived in Madagascar, Canada, Samoa, the United States and now in Taipei.

Michiko Yamate feels passionately that "Art is a language." The exhibition "Passages", chronicles her experience with different cultures in various countries, her deep love of animals and her personal sense of self. In Africa, she contracted malaria, and in Samoa, dengue fever. Both times she lapsed into a semi-conscious state where she seemingly passed through a green tunnel and caught a glimpse of a peaceful and beautiful place. Her painting "Tunnel to Heaven" is from these experiences which have introduced a spiritual tone to her art.

Michiko Yamate's work is primarily in oil, acrylic and mixed media and shows influences of Pablo Picasso and Viennese expressionist Egon Schiele, as well as of the art of Japanese paper-folding, origami. She has exhibited in Canada, Samoa, and the United States. Her most recent exhibitions at several galleries in Virginia and Washington, D.C. display a bolder and more contemporary artistic style influenced by her many years of living in America. In 1988, Michiko's oil painting "Three Men in Botswana" was selected as the centerpiece for the African Heritage Art Exhibit at the United States Department of State. She is married to Robert T. Yamate, the Chief of the Administration Section of the American Institute in Taiwan.