B. 1951, Japan
M’onma has been working and evolving as an artist for over forty years. His early work consists of rough sketches and still-lifes, focusing on traditional techniques.
His methods didn’t change until he was in his forties. M'onma doesn’t speak much about his process, but it would seem that letting go of his own intellectual control of his visual narrative is a very important part of it. He says he has always drawn; he has always made some kind of art, but one day he sat to draw his usual subject: a still-life, when he felt an entity take over his hand while he fell into a hypnogogic state. He didn't fight it and didn't return to his old way of making art. He did, however, feel it was a divine force. It was also a form of self-healing. He was living and recording those waking trancelike dreams.
After that instance, M’onma left behind the conceptual drawings that he was used to producing. He was suddenly fueled by an intense desire to explore the nature of this power, and to see where it directed him. As he learned to work with this divine force flowing through him, he had an epiphany that he was being lifted away from much of the doubt and ambiguity he had previously experienced. At this point in his artistic career, he has fully embraced this shift in his aesthetic, and now follows it with complete focus and commitment.
M'onma's work has been shown internationally at institutions such as Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, 2016) and Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Chicago, 2015). He was also included in the recent Art Brut du Japon, un autre regard (Art Brut from Japan, Another Look) at Collection de l’Art Brut, (Lausanne, 2018).