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While history might have taught us that being a creative genius and a tortured soul are synonymous (cue the likes of Virginia Woolf, Vincent Van Gogh and Sylvia Plath) emerging Japanese painter Miwa Komatsu — who tackles the subject of life and death through her artwork — believes the opposite to be true.

‘Through making art, I learned my role and mission in life,’ Miwa tells The Style Sheet. ‘I believe creative practices can have a profound impact on happiness, bring people joy and help a person to grow.’

Studies support Miwa’s sentiment that creativity is closely connected with positive emotions and wellbeing, showing that people feel happier and more energized when regularly engaging in creative endeavours, and that being in a positive mood goes hand-in-hand with creative thinking.

In celebration of Hong Kong Arts Month, Miwa treated visitors to a live art performance at Pacific Place on 30 March

As for those who don’t feel that they’re naturally imaginative, Miwa suggests tapping into, or strengthening, your artistic juices through meditation, which research confirms is an effective tool for sparking creativity. ‘I also believe creative power can be obtained through self-study, travel and exploring nature,’ shares Miwa.

Indeed, nature plays an important role in Miwa’s artistic process. Growing up within nature, and having close contact with different creatures — including several experiences of being present at their death — has helped form her unique point of view on the topic, which often manifests as divine elements. ‘When I’m in the process of creating a piece of art, I feel united with the divine spirit,’ she explains. ‘Even when one’s life has come to an end, and their body is gone, their soul will be guided to the right path and guarded. This is what I pray when I paint.’

When asked what she hopes audiences will away from her work, Miwa again raises the notion of nourishment. ‘I hope people take away that art is a cure for the heart and soul.’