Work Collection

Shioh Kato Artwork Collection
- The Journey of Inner Thoughts-

- Deluxe Collection of 35 Years in the Arts / Full Color 95 Art Works -
Limited Edition: 500 copies (36 x 29 cm) / 132 pages / Luxury Binding
Work title







Price: $200.00
Produced by Muland International Inc. and Gallery Shioh



  As I reflect on my past steps, I realize that the Journey of Inner Thoughts
which has its roots in my experiences of the American landscape, where I
found Beauty and Eternity, has also been deeply influenced by my encounter
with the teachings of Keiko Takahashi Sensei(of Total Life Human Studies):
    "The soul exists as an eternal life."
    "Be a human being an artist."
    " A way of living that unites the soul, life, and daily life."
    " Where have you come from, and where are you going ? "
I feel forever drawn to Keiko Takahasi Sensei's words. They inspire me to
continue a journey of soul searching and transformation.

Shioh Kato - Artist


The Cosmos
Mixed Media

This work was created for the Berkeley Symphony's 1981-83 season poster. In those days the young conductor Kent Nagano, who was nurturing the newly established Berkeley Symphony, was a rising star in the San Francisco Bay Area. The creation of this work not only sparked my friendship with Kent, but it also inspired a new artistic beginning for me. I sensed the presence of something extraordinary in the young musician's views toward music, philosophy and life.

In the courtyard of Gallery Shioh in San Francisco, we enjoyed monthly concerts, including several chamber orchestra programs led by Kent. One day Kent handed me the beautiful, unusual-looking score of a new piece called "Shioh Concerto" and said, "You are going to be the piano soloist!" The composer David Berryessa had cleverly devised a score filled with multiple colors that indicated area of the keyboard, dynamics, expressions and other musical details. The only condition was that I, who had never played the piano before, would only use the black keys of the piano. I performed the piece as piano soloist with a chamber orchestra led by Kent in a matinee and evening concert. Even though I chuckle with slight embarrassment when I think of it now, it was truly a joyous, youthful time.

Today Kent Nagano is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest conductors. I have always been stuck by his elegant, gallant, beautiful and dynamic style. It was the image of Kent conducting in front of the vast majestic universe that moved me to create "The Cosmos," which I consider to be my eternal theme.

A splash of silver dripping from above melts into deep cosmic space, and then rises as starts, shining in full radiance to this day.


Seeds of Cosmic Memories
Mixed Media
From the depth of Earth
A new sprout is born
In whispers of small weeds
In silent deep black rocks
The Eternal one shines
Profound memories of the beginning
Eternal cosmic memories of seeds


Song of the Earth
Mixed Media

On July 11, 1991, the world was excited to witness the century's last total eclipse of the sun. We were standing by the Kilauea Crater in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. The hill, which was about 200 meters long and 500 meters wide, had been softened into a gentle slope from the many repeated eruptions. This hill was the stage where seven artists from Japan, Korea and the U.S. gathered to create a live performance in celebration of the spectacular eclipse. The audience was now gathering around us.

As the musicians started to cry out and play, the wind carried their voices and the extraordinarily clear sounds of the Noh Ko-Tsuzumi drum, shakuhachi, and O-Tsuzumi drum from the top of the hill. Inspired by the sounds, I held a big, 1-meter long brush directly in front of me and started to descend the hill with calm, strong steps. I walked toward five pure white canvases of 5 x 5 meters that were placed at intervals against the backdrop of the deep black hill. As I called out within myself, "Great Nature, Answer me!" I painted the character "Earth" with all my might on the first canvas. I painted the five characters: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Sky. Sound of Origin, Sound of Five Elements, Song in Praise of Earth, Song of the Earth. After many more eruptions, this place has been transformed again. The wind continues to blow through the empty, vast space.


Iroha Uta
song of Impermanence


Colors are fragrant but petals fall
In this world nothing stays the same
As I cross over deep mountains of sorrow
I awaken from a shallow illusion
No longer dreaming
                                   Attributed to Kobo Taishi
                                   Late 9th century, Japan


Ancient Dialogue
Mixed Media

For some time I had been using the "x" in my work to symbolize sacred beings. Later when I came to know that it was a symbol of gods in some cultures, including ancient Japanese culture, I felt a sense of surprise and mystery. The ancient callings still reach me, and I am filled with yearning.


Song of the Universe and the Earth
Mixed Media

universe earth star sky mountain river
summit valley cloud fog house moss
human dog top bottom stone monkey
together balanced all eternally

                                   Anonymous Author
                                   9th century, Japan

I have loved this poem since I was 18 years old, and it has inspired many of my works. Reading it always fills my heart with warmth, nostalgia and peace.
O every being in Nature, bring your miraculous sounds and radiance together in harmony forever! An unknown poet from long ago heard the imperceptible voice of all beings and wove their songs into words of prayer. How light and beautiful they sound! I never cease to feel drawn to this poem. The harmony it expresses is one of my eternal themes.


Threads of Time and Space
Mixed Media

Human Nature Cosmos
All are joined together by invisible threads
Connected from long ago across time and space
The longing for the Great One, the invisible existence
Becomes the thread of time and space
Joined threads between Human and Human
Human and Nature Human and Cosmos Human and God


To the Inner Space in Your Life
Mixed Media

"Within words there seems to exist some kind of indescribable power. And certainly it is their nature to carry something...and form symbols."
"Words, as living things, nurture lives...creating energy."
"It is my with that the words I write here hold their own souls, and that they bring something to the inner space in your life."
(Excerpts from "To the Inner Space in Your Life" by Takahashi Keiko Sensei)

When I first read these words I felt as if an arrow pierced straight through my soul. Perhaps I felt that way because I am a calligrapher. At the age of three I started training under my father's strict guidance. For many years, expressing the meaning and power of words through avant-garde calligraphy had been an essential theme for me. I asked Takahashi Sensei for her permission to use these words, and I immediately started working on the series "To the Inner Space in Your Life."

What is it that we try to hear in the inner space of our daily lives?

I am, to this day, drawn to the beautiful sound of Takahashi Sensei's words and to their ever-deepening meanings.


Silent Calling 8
Mixed Media

The beautiful lake from the ice age that I mentioned earlier is the Pyramid Lake of Nevada, situated in an American Indian village.

I wonder if I first experienced a "Silent Calling" at this lake, which I visited countless times. In the evenings, alone, in complete silence, I would look up to meet the moon and the sky full of starts as they began to shine brightly in the quiet depth of time and space. The moon's reflection on the lake looked like a gentle white path. Feeling as though I was embraced by both light and shadow, I could not stop the tears from streaming down my face. Great tenderness for humanity and reverence for all living things welled up within me. I shouted, "Oh-i, Oh-i," my voice echoing throughout the vast lake. This all happened in about five minutes, yet it seemed to me that a long time had passed. I have never forgotten the sensation I experienced.

There is a silent calling coming from every living being, from micro to macro, and from
the Universe, which, in its wisdom, sees and remembers everything.

To be one who hears and understands the imperceptible voice: this is whom I long to be...


Memories of Divine Essence
Mixed Media
Flower in Tree Cloud in Water Fire in Rock Gold in Soil
These beautiful words from Buddhism guide me
Springtime an old cherry tree in full bloom
Water as clouds climbs to the sky
Ancient rocks give the fire of life
In the soil lies shining gold
The Universe holds energy and beauty like a secret
Searching for the unknown essence
Each shining discovery of Oneness
Unveils memories of divine essence


Winds of Genesis
Mixed Media

Anchorage, Alaska, 1991. We drove about two hours away from town, and the majestic Matanuska Glacier, 6.5 km wide and 40 km long, spread out before us. It lay in its grandeur, continuing the pattern of melting and freezing, as it had done for millions of years. Of the many glaciers in Alaska, this is one of the few that tourists can explore on foot.

It was the day before our concert at the Anchorage Music Festival, where I was to create calligraphy on a canvas of 3 x 5 meters in the performance of Isao Matsushita's "Hiten" for Piano, Bass, Noh O-Tsuzumi drum and calligrapher. The musicians and I were taking a break to visit the glacier.

The huge thick walls of ice whose whitish blue seemed infinitely transparent; the clear, deep crevasse inspiring an awe that bordered on fear; the pure blue lake emerging in the ice, contrasting the blue of the sky above… The scenery did not seem to be of this world. The winds of genesis were blowing here.

Shonosuke Okura, with his Noh O-Tsuzumi by his side, called out "O-oh, O-oh" and started to hit the O-Tsuzumi, making it cry, "Ka-n, Ka-n." The sound ran between every opening in the glacier and through the ice walls, and then ran back, echoing in every direction with infinite repercussions, as if to awaken the winds of genesis.

All of a sudden, a few minutes after the O-Tsuzumi's sound, a great roar started toward us. There must have been a crack in the ice somewhere. The roaring sound of nature made us feel as if the entire glacier had cracked and was going to take us down with it. In that moment, I could not help but feel a deep sense of wonder.

This was an experience in which I felt the winds of genesis, the ancient winds.


Song in Praise of Human Beings
Mixed Media

Some time ago, I had an experience in which I felt like I was watching a frame from a movie. For a split second, I saw shadows upon shadows of thousands of people moving by. They were running, walking and sitting, making up a complete abstract image. I had been using the "x" symbol as well as scratched lines in my work for many years, intuitively feeling that these represented the Sacred and the movement of countless people. After I saw this image, the symbols in my work became more tangible to me.

In that moment, I sensed the existence of the great one; the countless people living with Nature; people's daily lives; joys, angers, sorrows, comforts; voices of tenderness and happiness; people's courage and strength to face the challenges of life... I felt all these things lovingly as a vivid reality. I call this feeling, which came to me naturally, a "Song in Praise of Human Beings."

Using mixed media allows me to express this total picture. I place gold leaf gently on the canvas to symbolize the existence of Gold, the radiance of human souls, and their reunion. The translucent, delicate paper covering the gold leaf perhaps suggests hope and longing for the Great One.

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