Maya Yonesho

Born in Hyogo, Japan 1965, an animation director. She has studied Visual Design and Animation at Kyoto Saga University of Arts. After working as an art teacher at a junior high school for 6 years, she returned to study Japanese painting and conceptual & media art at Kyoto City University of Arts and also worked for a children's TV program as a clay animator. She made her first “abstract animated short film synchronized with 13 international languages under the theme “ we can understand each other without understanding each language” when has studied at Royal College of Art, UK as an exchange student. After receiving her MA of fine art (1998), she began making independent films include “believe in it” which has won the Excellence prize of Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan in 1998. She has stayed in Eesti Joonisfilm Studio, Estonia from 2002 to 2003 under Japanese Government Study Program for Promising Artists and Art Fellowships and has made “Üks Uks” with 8 Estonian bookbinding artists. She made a trailer of Tricky Women International Female Animation Festival in 2005. Her films has been shown at numerous international festivals and museums include Kunsthalle.

Retrospective. Independent animators who practice what some in Japan call "Art Animation" tend to be influenced by both Japanese artistic traditions and the best of world animation.  The stop motion animator Maya Yonesho has one foot firmly planted in Japan and the other in Europe and her lyrically beautiful films explore the idea of animation as a universal language, as you can read in my 2008 profile of her as an artist.  In the 2003 survey, Yonesho lists a wide range of animation from around the world whose animation techniques are as varied as their cultural origins. Yonesho's selection could easily make up the course contents of an introduction to world animation.

Exhibition at Japan Foundation, Toronto, Canada; in co-presentation with Toronto Animated Image Society, Reel Asian Film Festival and Japan Foundation.

Maya Yonesho