Tilsa Tsuchiya: Making a Name in the Peruvian Art Industry

Art comes in many shapes and forms. For Peruvian painter Tilsa Tsuchiya, her work of art meets mythology and folklore. Graduating from the Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes of Peru in 1959, her works have won prestigious awards. Tulsa Tsuchiya’s artworks focus on contemporary issues of gender and identity.

Escuela Nacional Superior Autónoma de Bellas Artes of Peru

Photo Courtesy of DePeru

In the city of Supe in Peru, Tilsa Tsuchiya was born as the seventh of eight children and became an orphan at a young age. By 8 years old, she discovered how to draw. Her father, Yoshigoro Tsuchiya comes from Japan and came to Peru when he was done studying medicine in the United States. Eventually, he got married to Maria Luisa Castillo who comes from Chavin, Peru and has a Chinese immigrant descent.

She found a hard time dealing with the death of her father and her mother, 2 years in between. Her mother’s passing led her to the decision to stop in her studies for her to be able to start a window-making and framing shop along with her sibling Wilfredo.

Eventually, she was able to return to studying and got enrolled in workshops under artists Carlos Quizpez Asin and Ricardo Grau. She was also fortunate enough to be a student of painter Manuel Zapata Orihuela. Tsuchiya graduated with flying colors as she achieved the Gran Medalla de Oro (Great Gold Medal) in painting. In the year of 1960, she went to France for education in printmaking as well as engraving at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Art History at the Sorbonne.

Carlos Quizpez Asin

Photo Courtesy of Wikiart

Ecole des Beaux-Arts 

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Tsuchiya’s artworks became well known because of her exhibition at the Institution of Contemporary Art. By the year 1970, she managed to win the Teknoquimica Award that gave more recognition to her career in art. She returned to her homeland in Peru in 1975. With regards to her personal life, she married Charles Mercier who was a Frenchman and gave birth to 2 children, Orlando and Gilles.

Here are some of Tilsa Tsuchiya’s artworks:


Photo Courtesy of Artnet

"Naturaleza Muerta"

Photo Courtesy of Artnet

"Still Life with Fish" 

Photo Courtesy of Artnet

The life of Tilsa Tsuchiya can serve as an inspiration to Asians as she is part of the AAPI community. Though she passed away at the age of 56, her artworks remain and will live on.


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Written by Jan Marbella

Jan Marbella is a Digital Marketing Intern of PS Media Enterprise and a 4th year Bachelor of Arts in Communication student of De La Salle University Dasmariñas.


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Tilsa Tsuchiya: Making a Name in the Peruvian Art Industry
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