ODA Mayumi (b. 1941) - silkscreen

Mayumi Oda is a force of nature, whether she is pounding on drums at four a.m. as part of her daily meditation practice, cooking up a fragrant stew incorporating vegetables from her own garden, or drawing one of the life-affirming female deities that populate her work. I once phoned my father in Tokyo to wish him a happy Thanksgiving, only to have him pass the receiver on to Mayumi who happened to be in Tokyo and had taken charge of his kitchen and was preparing the holiday meal.

Raised as a devout Buddhist, Mayumi has incorporated her beliefs into her art.  For many years she delighted in printing colorful silkscreens on handmade paper that featured a pantheon of powerful, joyous goddesses from China, Tibet, India and Japan. Another series features the ocean, with the divers and sea creatures she encountered while taking a scuba diving class in Hawaii. Still another series celebrated the vegetables and fruits that nourish us.

She has always championed women’s rights and the environmental movement, and in recent years has taken an active part in protesting Japan’s use of plutonium. A few years ago, she moved to Hawaii to establish a retreat, Ginger Hill Farm, a place to educate others about organic and sustainable farming.

Her concern about our planet has informed much of her work, and it is her ardent desire that the goddesses she depicts will help us along the path to creating a better world for all.

photograph of contemporary Japanese print dealer Allison Tolman of The Tolman Collection of New York with artist ODA Mayumi


Museum of Modern Art, New York
Cincinnati Art Museum
Portland Art Museum, Oregon
Osaka Mordern Art Center, Japan
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
Tokyo University of Fine Art, Japan
National Museum of Asian Art, Washington D.C.

Osaka Modern Art Center. Japan

For a glimpse into Mayumi's ideas on art ownership, you may find the following YouTube video of interest.