Mariko Marrs was born in Kitakyushu, Japan. Between the ages of seven and 10, her family lived in the Japanese Alps. During her summer vacations, her mother gave her an assignment called “Different Clouds,” for which she would draw and color cloud variations every day. This childhood activity led to her interest in making images of things that are not objects – wind, the sound of the ocean, the space in between, etc., which she continued after she moved to the United States and studied literature, philosophy and painting at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.
Marrs continues to explore themes that are not based in visual reality, for which she goes through many stages of experimentation with colors, textures and composition. Her image-making deals strictly with the senses and is an attempt to capture beautiful and instinctual moments of one’s existence that might otherwise be overlooked. Her paintings are intentionally absent of logic and reason.
In addition to her paintings, Marrs also creates sculptures that are contained in boxes. Her “box-making” is inspired and informed by the sheer attraction of and immersion in the world of objects. It is a completely different way for her to express herself. Within this medium, insignificant objects become centers of universes contained inside a box. Her boxes express a variety of commentaries ranging from the societal to the personal, or are simply a means of travel to another place.