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Artists as Writers: Kiyooka, Roy

Artist Biography


(Image by Kiyo Kiyooka, from Vancouver Public Library's Literary Landmarks.)

KIYOOKA, Roy (1926 - 1994)

Areas of Expertise
Painting, Poetry, Multimedia Art

Biography

Roy Kenzie Kiyooka, painter and poet (b at Moose Jaw, Sask 18 Jan 1926; d at Vancouver 8 Jan 1994). Of Japanese ancestry, Roy Kenzie Kiyooka grew up in the Prairies. He was multitalented and tackled other disciplines, including sculpture, photography, filmmaking, music and writing. He studied at the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (now Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Art) in Calgary from 1946 to 1949 with Jock MacDonald. In 1956 Kiyooka spent 8 months in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, where he was a student of James Pinto. There he was able to see the works of the great Mexican muralists Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros. In Mexico he started to experiment in his paintings with Duco, an automobile lacquer. Having returned to Regina that fall, Roy Kiyooka began teaching at the Regina College (now the University of Regina).

Roy Kiyooka was asked to participate in the São Paulo Biennial of 1966 and in 1969 was commissioned to create a sculpture to be displayed at the Canadian Pavilion at Expo 70 in Osaka. The VANCOUVER ART GALLERY organized a retrospective of his work in 1975. Kiyooka had an overall fruitful teaching career, having taught also in Montréal at Sir George Williams University (now CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY), in Halifax at the NOVA SCOTIA COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN and finally at the UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA in Vancouver, from which he retired a few years before his death. A collection of Roy Kiyooka's correspondence, written between 1975 and 1985, Pacific Rim Letters, was published in 2005.

Biography from The Canadian Encyclopedia

Online Resources

Roy Kiyooka on the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Remembering Roy Kiyooka, an artivle from the JCCA Bulletin.

Listen to Kiyooka his poems on SpokenWeb. Poems from Kyoto Airs and Nevertheless These Eyes are read.

Writing by Roy Kiyooka

Please note that not all works are available through the OCADU library. To acquire one of these works through Interlibrary Loan or other means, please contact the library for assistance.

Roy Kiyooka: Writing about his own art

Roy Kiyooka: Artspeak Gallery. The Gallery, 1991. Available at OCADU Library.
Contains an artist statement by Kiyooka, quotations from his poetry, and an interview.

Roy Kiyooka: Interviews

Laughter: Four Conversations with Roy Kiyooka, by Gerry Gilbert artscanada #202/203, winter 1975-76. Read online.

Roy Kiyooka: Artspeak Gallery. The Gallery, 1991. Available at OCADU Library.
Contains an artist statement by Kiyooka, quotations from his poetry, and an interview.

Roy Kiyooka: Poetry

Poetry

Kyoto Airs. designed and printed by Takao Tanabe at Periwinkle Press, Vancouver 1964
Inspired by a visit to Japan in 1963. Listen to Kiyooka read poems from this book on SpokenWeb.

Nevertheless These Eyes. Printed at the Coach House Press, Toronto 1967. Available at OCADU Library.
A book of poems and some artwork. Listen to Kiyooka read poems from this book on SpokenWeb.

"The Women Say What I like." boundary 2 Vol. 3, No. 1, A Canadian Issue (Autumn, 1974), p. 121. Read through OCADU Library.
Single poem published in a journal.

The Fountainebleau Dream Machine: 18 Frames from A Book of Rhetorick. Coach House Press, Toronto 1977

StoneDGloves. Coach House Press, Toronto 1970. Repr.: 1983.
A poetic and photographic project.

Pear Tree Pomes 1987. Illus. by David Bolduc. Coach House Press, Toronto 1987.
Nominated for the 1987 Governor General Award.

Pacific Windows: Collected Poems of Roy K. Kiyoka. Roy Miki (ed.). Talonbooks, Burnaby, B.C. 1997.

1982 and dawn: Jan. 18th '85, my 59th year Literary Review of Canada Vol. 13, Iss. 7,  (Sep 2005): 19. Read online through OCADU Library.
Two poems.

Roy Kiyooka: The Artist & the Moose: A Fable of Forget. Roy Miki (ed.). LINEbooks, Burnaby, B.C., 2009.

Roy Kiyooka: Non-fiction Writing

Non-fiction Writing

“Wheels, a trip thru Honshu’s Backcountry” A chapbook by Coach House Press, Toronto 1981. Republished in Pacific Windows.

transcanada letters. Talonbooks, Vancouver 1975. Repr.: 2004.
Reflections on Kiyooka's travels across Canada and identity as a Japanese-Canadian.

Mothertalk: Life Stories of Mary Kiyoshi Kiyooka. Daphne Marlatt (ed.): NeWest Press, Edmonton 1997.
Roy Kiyooka's mother, Mary Kiyoshi Kiyooka's, story from a series of interviews by Matsuki Masutani and reworked by Roy Kiyooka.

Pacific Rim Letters. Smaro Kambourelli (ed.). NeWest Press, Edmonton 2004.