Naoshi : Japanese “Sunae” Sand Painting Artist


I’m going to introduce a unique Japanese artist today.

There are various types of paintings such as water color and oil color, but I had not known “sunae,” which means “sand painting” until recently.

A Japanese female artist, Naoshi makes a specialty of sunae. I met her at Etsy party in Tokyo the other day. Being very interested in sunae, I want to share about it with you.


In the first place, what is sunae?


Well, it is kind of hard to describe it with words, so please watch this video. (It’s long but please watch to the last.)



What do you think? Isn’t it pretty unique technique?

In Naoshi’s website, she explains what made her start sunae and why she creates sunae.


“Using bright, colorful sand, I want to depict joy, happiness, sadness, and fear that people who live in an unreal world in the reality have.” “Everyday is like sand that silkily falls down out of my hand. I want to spend the days brightly. That is why I use sand for my paintings.”


That’s wonderful! I didn’t know that such deep idea was behind her works.


sunae artist sunae artist
sunae artist sunae artist


Started her career in 2004, she has made achievement right along, and often exhibits for overseas exhibitions and events. Here are some examples.

-Year of 2011-
“What is Q?”…Qpop gallery and shop (Los Angeles, U.S.A)
“Universal Love”…MondoPOP International Gallery(Rome, Italy)
“Japanese Trend-setting Female Creators”…Meguro CLASKA The 8th gallery (Tokyo, Japan)

-Year of 2010-
SANRIO50th Anniversary “Small gift Los Angeles”…Barker Hangar (Los Angeles, U.S.A)
“2D characters from the new curernts in contemporary art”…MondoPOP International Gallery(Rome, Italy)
“SWEET STREETS2”…Gallery Nucleus (Los Angeles, U.S.A)
“TOKYO ART BOOK FAIR”…3331ARTS Chiyoda (Tokyo, Japan)
“MELT DOWN”…Soyal Gallery (AZ, U.S.A) 
“Manga Girls Inspiration”…Junie Moon Gallery (Tokyo, Japan)
“Emerging Contemporary Artists of Japan 2010”…2/20Gallery (New York, Japan)
“SHINI’N”…Maru Building 4F CARD TERIA (Tokyo, Japan)


VOGUE Italy websites currently displays Naoshi’s work.


The picture is titled “Fish in Space.”


Not only exhibitions, she has worked on other international projects.

2010  ALFA ROMEO Art project, poster design, ALFA ROMEO
2009  Music player & HD “Zune,” Microsoft
2009  Greeting card design, Red Cap Cards
2009  Relay Picture Book Project “A Worldwider Tale”
2008  Fake road signs project “PANOS2013,” The Streets of Lyon, France


Naoshi’s works are available at her online store. If you are interested, please visit the websites below! 😉


Naoshi’s Website: (English)

Online Store: (English)

Weblog : (English)



This is JAPAN Style!