Born in Osaka, Japan, Tomo Mori received a BFA from Atlanta College of Art, and worked for an international news agency for 11 years after graduation. As a graphic designer she supported top journalists covering news from all over the world 24/7. This experience of seeing the world from a newsroom perspective planted seeds for her missions as an artist today.
Mori’s work focuses on the interconnectedness and healing in the space where we experience many conflicts and struggles.
As a first-generation immigrant and a mother with inconsistent access to separate studio space, she has learned to integrate her creative life with her cultural heritage and domestic existence, blurring the lines between different aspects of her identity as a woman.
Mori has exhibited her works in various galleries, from local community venues to international events like SCOPE Miami.
She also has a strong passion for public art installations. She was given diverse commissions from the MTA Arts and Design in 2018 and Columbia University in 2016. She has created a mural for Governors Island as a part of a 2019 summer program. Most recently she completed work on a corporate commission for Swan Reserve Hotel in Orlando, FL.
I restore my inner balance by an almost ritual-like creative process, praying to heal and reconnect the world broken in so many places.
I have been mainly working on two series.
One is a fiber art installation series. Starting after the 2016 election, I felt the urgency to work on the human connection theme, reacting to the rise of hate crimes.
I chose rope as a symbol because it's such an ancient and universal object. The fabrics used are clothes and linens of our time, donated from friends from many places around the world. The structure of ropes also fascinates me in their process, that braiding two opposing forces creates strength.
I didn't know until recently that my grandmother's birth family in Japan owned a rope/twine manufacturer. One day my mother remarked that it's interesting that I'm making ropes "like I'm supposed to." So, I can’t help to feel a sense of a fate. Still, I believe my childhood memories of seeing Shimenawa (“enclosing ropes”) everywhere in Japan were the point of my inspiration.
The other work is a fabric collage series utilizing mosaic-like techniques but with paint and fabrics. Hundreds of squares reminiscent of digital pixels compose an aggregate like a living organism, together representing our time's harmony and history. They focus on the beauty and complexity of multiculturalism and our ancestors' journeys. Imagining their sacrifices reminds us that our lives are miracles.
The Atlanta College of Art (renamed to SCAD Atlanta), 1991-1995. BFA.
Tokyo Metropolitan High School for Music & Fine Art, 1988-1991.
PUBLIC ART/COMMERCIAL PROJECTS
2021: Splash, 20’x 4’ painting commissioned by Tishman for Swan Reserve Hotel.
2019: This Life Given, 360-degree mural installation at Governors Island Nolan Park 10. West Harlem Art Fund.
2014-2018: The Wheels of the Bus, MTA Art & Design, Manhattanville Bus Depot. Metal sculpture and laminated glass commission.
2016-2017: Concerto Encircling, Miller Theatre at Columbia University. A site-specific installation/mural commission. A part of Uptown Triennial 2017. Curated by Deborah Cullen.
2013: What circulates, Play(LABS), Solar-powered fountain installation. East Harlem community garden, New York NY.
2013: Introspection, 300sq feet glass wall installation. Wix Lounge, New York NY.
2013: Ken Ken Pa!, Laundromat Project, Sidewalk Mural. Art in Flux, New York NY.
2013: Joining Forces: Living Art on the Hill. The City College of New York. Curated by Myra Brown Green.
2013: Spring will be here for everyone, Window Art at East Harlem Cafe, New York, NY.
2012: I’m home, MTA Art in Transit: Mother Clara Hale Bus Depot. Selected as a semi-finalist.
2020: CADAF Online, curated by Roberta Fineberg/99 Prints.
2017: CT Contemporary Art Fair, Bedford Square, Westport, CT.
2015: FLUX ART FAIR, New York, NY.
2014: SCOPE Miami Beach, Rush Arts Gallery/Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Miami, FL.
SOLO / 2 ARTIST EXHIBITIONS
2021: UP-CLOSE. Capucine Bourcart and Tomo Mori. JVS Project Space, Art Lives Here, curated by Connie Lee.
2021: Summer Salon, Tomo Mori and Ruban Sinha. Art Lives Here, curated by Connie Lee.
2020: I See You. The Work by TAFA & Tomo Mori. Chashama Space to Present, Immigrant Artist Series. New York, NY
2019: ROPE, curated by Ramona Candy. St. Joseph College, Brooklyn, NY.
2018: Search for Warmth curated by Judy Ferrara. Judy Ferrara Gallery, Three Oaks, MI.
2017: Search for Warmth, Porter Advisory/Jessica Porter/The Yard. New York, NY.
2014: Color Play, Tomo Mori & Capucine Bourcart, La Maison d’Art Gallery, New York, NY.
2013: Aggregate, recent canvas collage work and glass installation collaboration with contemporary dance performance. Wix Lounge, New York NY.
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2022: 100 YEARS OF HARLEM curated by Omo Misha, Christie's x City College of New York.
2021: East to Perform, Asian American Heritage Month, Howland Culture Center, Beacon, NY.
2021: Roots, Routes of Jazz, National Jazz Museum in Harlem. Fundraiser exhibition, New York, NY.
2020: Art of Healing, Art on the Ave, curated by Lisa DuBois. New York, NY.
2020: Project Projection, Art Forms Us. New York, NY.
2020: Spark, Harlem Art Walk. El Barrio Art Space, New York, NY.
2019: Self Alive, curated by Deborah Pannell at The Yard, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
2018: Returning to the River, Art in Flux Harlem curated by Leanne Stella. New York, NY.
2017: Intertwined, chashama 470 Vanderbilt, curated by Charlotte Mouquin and Christina Massy.
2017: We are stronger together, Barnes Foundation/Rush Art Philly, Philadelphia, PA.
2017: Songs of Freedom, Art in Flux Harlem / JCC Harlem, New York, NY.
2017: Field Project, show #42: STRING THEORIES online exhibition. New York, NY.
2017: Reflection of Monk, Inspired Images of Music & Moods Ill, Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY.
2017: POSTED TO NEW YORK, The Padlock Group / Art in Flux, ALOFT Harlem, New York, NY.
2017: Summer Show, Amy Simon Gallery, Westport, CT.
2016: Her Story, Leroy Neiman Art Center, New York, NY.
2016: Harlem is… DANCE, Community Works/MIST Harlem, New York, NY.
2016: Mixx Projects + Atelier, Telluride, CO.
2016: Judy Ferrara Gallery, Three Oaks, MI.
2015: Molting, Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ.
2015: Definitive, chashama 461 closing show, New York, NY.
2015: chashama annual open studio, New York, NY.
2015: Mixx Projects + Atelier, Telluride, CO.
2015: Judy Ferrara Gallery, Three Oaks, MI.
2014: Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Regional Semi-Finalist Show, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.
2014: Kirschblüte. Museum BL, Liestal, Switzerland.
2014: Reflections of Monk: Inspired Images of Music and Moods II, Dwyer Cultural Center, New York, NY.
2014: VISIONS, ROOTS & RHYTHMS: Music Inspired Visuals. Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY.
2014: HOME - If you build it by No Longer Empty, Sugar Hill Children's Museum, New York.
2014: The Black and White Show, Art in Flux Harlem, New York, NY.
2014: Women's History Month show at the Interchurch Center, New York, NY.
2014: I Kan Do Dat - Contemporary Abstract Art by Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Salena Gallery.
2014: 16th Annual Postcards from the Edge, Visual AIDS/Luhring Augustine, New York, NY.
2013: Generations IX: The Red/Pink Show, A.I.R. Gallery, Dumbo, Brooklyn.
2013: Curate NYC Top 150 Artists, Rush Arts Gallery, New York, NY.
2013: Momentum, St. Joseph's College Council on the Arts. Brooklyn, NY.
2013: Women in Charge, Juried Exhibition, SOHO20 Chelsea, New York, NY.
2013: Brimming on the Edge with NYCxDESIGN, Andrew Freedman Home, The Bronx, New York.
2013: Motown to Def Jam, Strivers Garden Gallery / Art Crawls Harlem. New York, NY.
2012: Nature's Return, Arsenal Gallery, Central Park New York.
2012: The Joy of Creating, The Galleries at The Interchurch Center, New York, NY.
2012: Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival in Sakura Park / General Grant Memorial.
2012: A Tribute to Women in the Arts, Arts Horizons LeRoy Neiman Art Center.
2011: Film on Artists, 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition. Rogue Space Chelsea, New York, NY.
2011: Elements of Soul, at chashama 461 Studio Gallery, New York, NY.
2011: Bearden's Found Children, Canvas Paper and Stone Gallery, New York, NY.
2011: ArtCan, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta GA.
2011: Homage, Knox Gallery, New York, NY.
2011: Renaissance Fine Art Gallery. New York, NY
2011: Spirit of Community, Dwyer Cultural Center, New York, NY.
2011: Dismissed, Art for Change Gallery, New York, NY.
1996: SAN NIN TEN, New Vision Gallery at Tula Art Center, Atlanta, GA.
1995: AIDS Athens Fundraising Art Auction, Athens, GA.
1995: Landscape, Memory, and Identity, King Plow Art Center Atlanta, GA. Curated by Jerry Cullum.
1994: Light Field, experimental video exhibit, Atlanta, GA. Curated by Sarah Hornbecher.
1992: The Atlanta College of Art Annual Juried Exhibition Best Drawing Award. Atlanta, GA.
1991: Sotu-Ten, Tokyo Metropolitan Fine Art Museum Ueno, Tokyo, Japan.
2021: Sugar Hill Childrens Museum and Storytelling.
2020: Immigrant Artists series 'I See You' hosted by chashama, collage workshop and rope making workshop.
2019: Dorothy Day Headstart Early Childhood Center and Sugarhill Preschool.
2013-2016: Art Horizon Leroy Neiman Center Harlem. 4-11 yr old multi-media exploration classes.
2015: Iona Collage. Visiting artist lecture and workshop. New Rochelle, New York.
2014: Collage workshop for all age, La Maison d’Art, New York NY.
2015: chashama 461 studio/workspace program, New York, NY. Coordinated their visiting curator program.
TALKS & PANELS
2019: Artist talk with curator Ramona Candy, Rope exhibition at St. Joseph College.
2016: Artist talk with curator Deborah Cullen, Concerto Encircling, a site-specific installation. Miller Theatre/Columbia University.
2014: Artist talk with Seph Rodney for The Black and White Show, Art in Flux Harlem, New York, NY.
2013: Artist talk for Joining Forces: Living Art on the Hill. The City College of New York.
2013: Artist talk for Momentum, St. Joseph's College Council on the Arts. Brooklyn, NY.
2013: Artist talk for What circulates, Play(LABS), public art installation. New York, NY.
2011: Artist talk for Homage, Knox Gallery, New York, NY.
2011: Artist talk for Elements of Soul, at chashama 461 Studio Gallery, New York, NY.
2021: Voices of Art featuring Tomo Mori, interview by Dr. Myrah Brown Green.