Born in Kumamoto, Japan, Mariko Kusumoto grew up in a Buddhist temple on Kyushu Island. In 1989, she obtained a BFA in painting and engraving from Musashino Art College in Tokyo, and in 1995, a MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Today, Mariko Kusumoto lives and works in Massachusetts. Her works are shown in the permanent collections of many museums : the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Koch Collection of the Swiss National Museum, the Racine Art Museum, the Morikami Museum, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Mariko Kusumoto's works are divided into two groups and, so to speak, into two artistic periods that are diametrically opposed by the nature of the materials and the techniques they explore. During eighteen years, the artist has been indeed recognized for her extensive exploration of metal, creating intricate and technically demanding works composed as genuine miniature theaters with the codes of surrealist art and diorama. From 2013 onwards, after completing her most ambitious piece "Pachinko Voyage" which took her a whole year of an exhausting work, she decided to change her medium and turned to textile. To create her new pieces, she uses the traditional tsumami zaiku folding technique combined with a heat-setting process for synthetic fabrics (hot molding). She explores the forms from nature - plants and animals - to compose objects and jewellery with translucent, light and delicate shapes.
The works of Mariko Kusumoto have attracted the attention of many creators, including the French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier with whom she collaborated for the haute couture collection unveiled in January 2019.