Masa Iida is a zen abstract painter from Yokohama, Japan, living
and working in London.
In 1996 he moved to London to pursue his music career as a singer/songwriter however in 2015 he started painting as to add more dimension of his creativity.
His background in music encourage him to see truly more of spiritual side of painting as a consequence.
His main source of inspiration is Zen brushstroke drawing, “ensō” . In its purest form Ensō is a circle created by a single brushstroke
(If you are curious about Masa's musical activity please visit O-ARC )
A trace of brushstroke is created by an act of adding. On the contrary, non-painted empty blank space is done by a concept of subtracting.
Focusing on these two elements is the crucial method of my work.
I believe when my painting goes beyond adding and subtracting —when the balance between painted area and non-painted blank space has totally equal existence—creates a meditative state which viewers would be trapped in seeing nothing on paper…as expression and non expression co-existed.
It’s like you can’t hear anything when you hear two sounds whose sound waves totally opposite to each other at the same time.
I want to go beyond dualism.
I would like to achieve this in my painting.
1996 Arrived London UK to pursue his music career.
1999 First solo acoustic gig at Lock Tavern in Camden Town.
2003 First EP Life Is Upside Down is released from Pogo Music.
2007 Formed a duo O-ARC with London-born guitarist Neil Mason who has been playing with
Masa since EP’s recoding session. They created highly original sound collage like songs
with just using three elements: voice, acoustic guitar ,and electric guitar.
They played at unique art related spaces like Tate Britain, Institute Of Contemporary Arts
Whitechapel Gallery , Art Car Boot Sale at Brick Lane, Leyden Gallery, Comme des Garcon’s
boutique Dover Street Market.
2011 The first album En is released from Weast Music.
4 of the songs from the album is used for TV series Hollyoaks
2015 Started creating abstract calligraphy like paintings to add new images for O-ARC
2017 Acquired a representation by Toukou Gallery who specializes in a master potter Hiroyoshi
2018 His first interview was featured in webzine Chom Magazine by Chrom Art which supports
2019 The first O-ARC's Japan live concert was held at Myosaijij Temple. It was a charity concert to
help raise money for Mihara city in Hiroshima who was devastated by heavy rain in 2018.
Created a Logo for a craft lovers website Elluse. He created it on one sunny afternoon in The
Regents Parkin London and all the process were filmed.
14day Solo exhibition at Wine Bar Namiya Yokohama, Japan.
His purpose of creation was to soothe people’s mind by music or painting. To do so he use s elements of Japanese aesthetics “ beauty of subtraction, “beauty of empty blank white space”, “ importance of Ma (negative space) and his western influence. His solo exhibition by Chrom Art and O-ARC’s live concert by UK based NPO Yokohama Calling will be held in 2020.
Gallery Toukou www.utakaratsu.com (A2 42cmx59cm / A3 30cmx 42cm size only）
A2 ５８、０００円（including frame）A3 ３０、０００円
There is not list of my paintings on their website. Please
book by appointment for viewing .
Available from iTunes