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 encourages 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 


Please click for Long Bio


(If you are curious about Masa's musical activity please go to Music )






I’m a strong believer the truth lies beyond duality and my goal of creation is

going beyond duality. Not love or hate nor good or bad. Something beyond them.


Duality in painting is adding and subtracting.


Adding comes from putting brush marks on paper and subtracting comes from space around them where no brush marks exist.

(Re: oil or acrylic painting:  subtracting excess paint from canvas is not categorising as subtracting as it is adjusting the amount of paint. It means pain is still added.)


I want to create a superb balance between brush marks area and space where no brush marks exist.  For me both elements are equally important as brush marks won't exist without space and space is not recognisable without brush marks.


Once this materialised, the painting will be visible but at the same time invisible.


The painting you can see and you can't see at the same time.


It is like you can't hear anything when you hear two sounds with opposite sound waves at the same time because the sounds are canceling each other out.


There are sounds but you can't hear them.


This applies to my painting. A painting which you can't see but stays vividly in your mind.


My father's passing made me clear this idea. 


I visited my father's care home when he was at the late stage of his life. I met up with my father and felt his existence.


However, I felt that my father's existence was still outside of my mind as he was still alive and he was just in front of me.


Once my father passed away, I can't physically meet up with him anymore but felt strongly his existence in my mind as if he and I were almost one single person.  


I wants to create a painting to exist in someone's mind vividly.


A painting expressed the ultimate joy of life coming from beyond dualism.






Personal History


Arrived London UK to pursue his music career.



First solo acoustic gig at Lock Tavern in Camden Town.



First EP Life Is Upside Down is released from Pogo Music.



Formed a duo O-ARC with London-born guitarist  Neil Mason who has been playing with Masa since EPs 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 Garconboutique Dover Street Market.



The first album En is released from Weast Music. 


4 of the songs from the album is used for TV series Hollyoaks



Started creating abstract calligraphy like paintings to add new images for O-ARC 



Acquired a representation by Toukou Gallery who specializes in a master potter Hiroyoshi 

Hamamoto's pottery




His first interview was featured in webzine Chom Magazine by Chrom Art which supports 

emerging artists



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 peoples 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-ARCs live concert by UK based NPO Yokohama Calling will be held in 2020.



Instagram  @masaiidaart


Twitter       @masaiidaart


Gallery Toukou

There is no list of my paintings on this website. 

Please book viewing by appointment.



Instagram @oarcmusic 


Twitter      @oarcmusic


Sound file


Available from iTunes