The Bennett Prize

3.0 Bennett Prize Finalist

Mayumi Nakao

Mayumi Nakao’s paintings address family, home, history, and Western culture. Her charming narratives are inspired by the family photographs of the friends she has made since coming to the United States. Her spaces are characterized by vibrant colors and distorted perspective and scale, and are populated by family groups, especially children, and iconic Western products and food. Her desire to capture the warm memories of friends and comforts of home stems from her sense of isolation upon emigrating from Japan. In her “borrowed nostalgia” she seeks moments of shared humanity and love that transcend cultures and race.

Nakao moved to the U.S. from her native Japan after graduating from the Sozosha Design School for Illustrators in Osaka, Japan. She went on to receive a Certificate in Fine Arts in painting from the Art Students League of New York. Nakao had a solo exhibition at BWS Gallery in New York in 2022 and has been included in group shows in New York City and at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. She is the recipient of the 2022 New Face Award from the Modern Japan Art Society and her art is included in the permanent collection of the Art Students League. She recently completed a residency in Veneto, Italy and was featured in New Visionary Magazine.

Nakao lives in Brooklyn, NY.



oil on canvas
Nighty Night, oil on canvas
oil on canvas, 2021, 48" x 48"
Early Afternoon, oil on canvas, 2021, 48" x 48"
oil on canvas, 48" x 36"
Chatter Phone, oil on canvas, 48" x 36"