Mimei Thompson - Lunar Asparagus, 2013, show at Art First Projects, installation view #2, photo credits - Art First

Mimei Thompson

United Kingdom 1972

Painting, Drawing


Mimei Thompson
Mimei Thompson
United Kingdom
March 21, 2017
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

In Mimei Thompson’s paintings the reality of everyday images shifts in and out of focus; from vegetables, insects, animals, minerals and landscapes – everything has an unquestionably alien and hallucinatory appearance. She is a Tokyo-born British oil painter interested in the fluidity of movement and shifting between the unconscious, myths, dreams and what seems to be mundane. Her pictures juxtapose the grandiose and the banal, conventional with obscure finding inspiration in Max Ernst‘s surrealism.

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Mimei Thompson – Woodland, 2015 – Photo courtesy of the artist

Mimei Thompson’s Paintings

Thompson was born in Tokyo to a Chilean mother and American father and has been living in Sudan before settling down in the UK. Moving around like this left a feeling of multiplex identities and no limited cultural–geographical attachments, but as well, a certain longing for authenticity or origin.This uprootedness is one of the main subjects of her paintings and can be traced in numerous ways. Her paintings of rocks, weeds, human and animal forms amongst abstract paint marks and lines show leaps from fantastic to the known. Both representational and process-based these oil canvases manage to capture all the subtle differences of the in-between-state they depict on.

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Mimei Thompson – Ape, 2013 – Photo courtesy of the artist

Mimei Thompson’s Process of Work

Thompson studied photography in Glasgow first, after which she earned an MFA in painting from The Royal College of Art in 2005. But a specific quality of developing photos can be traced in her paintings as well. She explains her methods: The paintings go through a liquid stage, where the whole surface is covered in a fluid mix of paint and Liquid medium on a smooth, non-absorbent surface, and that gets moved around and worked into while it’s all still liquid. The estranging effect comes from the visibility of the dominant brushstroke on her characteristic luminous white, pale grey-green or lilac-pink backgrounds. Exploring the way the ordinary becomes fantastic, Thompson inherits this fundamental dichotomy to her process of painting – showing how images levitate between the edge of growth and exaggeratedly visible brushstrokes. In 2013 she had her first solo exhibition at Art First Projects in London entitled Lunar Asparagus, borrowing the name from Max Ernst’s sculpture.

Alien and hallucinatory appearance of mundane objects

in 2015 you can buy the canvas from the artist
Mimei Thompson – Chainlink fence, 2013 – Image via thelearnedpig


Cave Paintings

Year 2013 was also important because of her Cave painting series in which she dwells with the cave imagery as a representation of the unconsciousness. Being fascinated with the theme of metamorphosis she sees cave as a space of possible transformation, a place with strange, vivid rocks that sometimes look like a little creature, pertaining the same subtle hallucinatory effect that is her hallmark style. With hues of emerald, violet, lavender, ghost-like silver or cadmium yellows creates a translucent pseudo-reality of her own. Her most prominent exhibitions since then are: solo shows at Trade Gallery, Nottingham in 2014, The Year of Sleepwalking at Art First Projects, London, Flies in My Eyes at Queens Park Railway Club, Glasgow.

Mimei Thompson lives and works in London, UK.


  1. Burrows, W, Decidedly Alien: The Paintings Of Mimei Thompson, The double negative [March 20, 2017]

Featured image: Mimei Thompson -Solo exhibition Lunar Asparagus – Installation view – Image courtesy of artfirst.co.uk
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2017Big GardenGroup show at Campden Gallery, GloucestershireSolo
2016Slippery & Amorphous Contemporary British Painting show as part of Sluice NYCGroup
2016New Works - Christopher Cook and Mimei Thompson Art First Projects, LondonGroup
2016Inland Far Herbert Read Gallery, UCA CanterburyGroup
2016Sampler Kristian Day group show at ArcadeSolo
2016Nature's Ape Syson, NottinghamGroup
2016The NamesTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2016Slippery and Amorphous Contemporary British Painting exhibition programmeGroup
2015ArtWorks Open Barbican Arts Group TrustSolo
2015Animism Jessica Carlisle Gallery, London SW1Group
2015Exeter Contemporary OpenExeter Phoenix GallerySolo
2015Flies in My EyesQueens Park Railway Club, GlasgowSolo
2015Autocatalytic Future GamesLondonGroup
2015The Year of SleepwalkingArt First Projects, London Solo
2015Material TensionCollyer Bristow GalleryGroup
2015The NutcrackerBelmacz GalleryGroup
2014Solo Show at Trade GalleryTrade Gallery, NottinghamSolo
2014Zinger! Canal, LondonGroup
2014Chew CrewTransition, LondonGroup
2014News From NowhereKelmscott HouseGroup
2014StowawayWeekend, Los AngelesGroup
2014To Klingon Or Not To Klingon: Artists from Los Angeles, London and Other Parts of the UniverseCampbell Works, LondonGroup
2014Circus TMBelmaczGroup
2013Winter GardensSutton HouseGroup
2013Lunar AsparagusArt First Projects, LondonSolo
2013MasqueGallery d'Ys, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013His Monkey Wife, collaboration with Urara TsuchiyaGlasgow Project RoomGroup
2013Natural HistoryArt First, LondonGroup
2013Photo & Print Open SalonCharlie Dutton GalleryGroup
2013Apophenia Huddinge SwedenGroup
2013Wanderlust, Contemporary Art Society Annual FundraiserOld Vic Tunnels in Waterloo, LondonGroup
2012Now the dream is overBlyth Gallery, LondonGroup
2012The Count of Monte Cristo, Father and SonOld Portsmouth, HampshireGroup
2012ApopheniaHuddinge, SwedenGroup
2012If on a lonely night, a travellerTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2012The Count of Monte Christo- ConspiracyRogue Project Space, ManchesterGroup
2012Marmite Painting Prize Exhibition- CoventryLanchester Gallery Projects, CoventryGroup
2012Pulp Fictions, works on paper by 32 artistsTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2011The Count of Monte Cristo- The TreasureAsylum, Caroline Gardens Chapel Asylum RoadGroup
2011The Count of Monte Cristo- The UnknownAsylum, Caroline Gardens Chapel Asylum RoadGroup
201111.11East Gallery, LondonGroup
2011InterspacesSun Bear GalleryGroup
2011The Lion's DenOccupy Space, Thomas Street Limerick, IrelandGroup
2011Freies MaterialWeltraum Gallery, MunichGroup
2011Marmite Painting Prize Exhibition- LondonCentral Art Gallery TamesideGroup
2011The Island of True StoriesExeter Phoenix GalleryGroup
2011Art Blitz, Fundraising art auction for Transition GalleryTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2010IconsSt Botolph-without-Aldgate, Aldgate High Street, London Group
2010Jerwood Contemporary Painters- DurhamPSL [Project Space Leeds]Group
2010Marmite Painting Prize Exhibition- TamesideCentral Art Gallery TamesideGroup
2010Exeter Contemporary OpenExeter Phoenix Gallery Group
2010Jerwood Contemporary Painters- LeedsDLI Museum & Durham Art GalleryGroup
2010Jerwood Contemporary PaintersJerwood Space, LondonGroup
2010Journey to the Centre of the EarthVisual Arts Centre, St John's ChurchGroup
2009Drawing 2009The Drawing Room Tannery Arts, LondonGroup
2009O / A Stiff BandeauTricycle Theatre gallery, LondonGroup
2009Drawings With DolphinsCrimes Town gallery, LondonGroup
2009Internal GeometryThe Drawing Room at St Georges Hall, LiverpoolGroup
2009Future50, New Axis organised selling showPSL [Project Space Leeds]Group
2008Mime 1Transition Gallery, LondonGroup
2008DrawingsPeacock Projects, 13 Peacock Yard, Iliffe Street, LondonGroup
2008These Living Walls of JetCeri Hand Gallery, LiverpoolGroup
2008DivinationBrunswick Centre Gallery, LondonGroup
2008'00 NatureContemporary Art Projects, LondonGroup
2008The Painting RoomTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2008Studio Voltaire OpenStudio Voltaire, LondonGroup
2007Cut and ColourBlyth gallery, LondonGroup
2007FloraEagle Gallery, LondonGroup
2007Slippery SlopeEagle Gallery, LondonGroup
2007Through the Large GlassThree Colts GalleryGroup
2006The Shaman Project IIBilbao, SpainGroup
2006Baroque My WorldTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2006TerritoryGallery of the University of the Arts, LondonGroup
2006Acid Drops and Sugar CandyTransition and Foster Art galleriesGroup
2005Second NatureTransition and Foster Art galleriesGroup
2005Invasions of Piquancy33-34 Hoxton Square, London Group
2004Goth MothTransition Gallery, LondonGroup
2003Art FuturesContemporary Art SocietyGroup
2002The Painting ClassCentral Saint Martins College of Art and Design, LondonGroup
1991The Horizon of ExpectationEmpire Studios, London Group