Unearthly Landscapes by Moki

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Moki is primarily a painter, but also works with photography, animation, sculpture and comics. She is part of the German art collective beetobee, which connects artists from European and Asian cultures.  Even her website is a work of art. While many of her paintings are highly realistic northern European style landscapes, they often contain creatures that look like they escaped from a Hayao Miyazaki film, reminding me of the ghosts in Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke.

In a 2009 interview with Erratic Phenomena, she says of her work,

“more than animistic, it’s pantheistic. The structures of stones, the colors of their lichens… it’s a feeling of respect and appreciation relating to nature. I think sometimes it’s the longing to be a part of it – forming a unity to overcome the feeling of alienation – just as much it is the amazement of beauty and a desire to understand.”


This striving to overcome our separation with nature, which westerners typically think of as something outside us, has interested me for a long time and I felt an immediate connection with her paintings, a longing to be in the landscapes or a feeling that I had been part of them before, maybe in a dream.  If it was in a dream, I only hope that I can go there again.


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In her most recent work, Moki has begun to paint remarkably realistic depictions of people existing within these unearthly landscapes in various states of corporeality, as if they are subject to a surreal sort of dream logic. Eyes averted, they are oblivious to our presence – either lost in an internal reverie or in the throes of being overcome by the potency of their surroundings.

What’s quite obvious to me in her paintings is the mystical relationship she developed with the landscape. They are transcendent, eerie and haunting, filled with half-familiar animals, cold tundra lakes and archetypal landscapes that seem to have seeped from our subconscious.

Concerning outside reality or imaginary worlds – I’ve read about philosophical constructivism, and there are many aspects of that idea which are appealing to me. It’s too hard to for me to describe it in English, so this is fromWikipedia:

“Constructivism criticizes objectivism, which embraces the belief that a human can come to know external reality (the reality that exists beyond one’s own mind). It holds the opposite view, that the only reality we can know is that which is represented by human thought (assuming a disbelief or lack of faith in a superhuman God). Reality is independent of human thought, but meaning or knowledge is always a human construction.”

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