Ushio Shinohara was born in Tokyo in 1932. An iconoclast and provocateur from an early age, Ushio quickly left an imprint on the nascent postwar art scene in Japan, where he founded the group “Neo Dadaism Organizars” in 1960 and caused an uproar with his performance-based "Boxing Paintings”.  Ushio left Japan for New York in 1969 with a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Four years later he met Noriko and they eventually married in 1979. The couple moved to a Dumbo loft in 1986 where they still reside today.

Ushio has been featured in exhibitions nearly every year since his career-making 1955 Tokyo Metropolitan Museum show. Most of his solo exhibitions have been at galleries in Japan, with group shows at galleries in New York, LA, and parts of Europe. His work is in the public collection of dozens of museums in Japan, as well the MOMA in New York. 

Born and raised in rural Japan, Noriko Shinohara left for New York at the age of 19 to pursue her fascination with art. Within two years of being in New York—a time she spent living in Greenwich Village lofts and frequenting SoHo coffee shops—she met Ushio, who was 21 years older and a rising and under-appreciated artist. In 1974 the couple had their first child, Alexander Kukai, an artist who now lives with his wife in New Jersey. In 1994 Noriko published the novella Tameiki no New York (“Sighs of New York”), a book loosely based on Hell of Raising a Child, with Ushio as the child, not Alexander.

Often working in the shadow of her husband’s fame, Noriko has exhibited widely in New York and Japan in the last 15 years. Her paintings are marked by an idiosyncratic exuberance and often take inspiration from Hokusai, National Geographic magazine, and the nude body. After decades working with pastels and oils, Noriko began exploring etching in 1995 and has since reinvigorated her oeuvre with the new medium.