Meet Kiyoka Wada

Kiyoka Wada in a demo at the
ARTventurous event
Early this year, I met Dayu M. Selim of Dayu Designs at a local art event and discovered that she has established her brand through online orders for her henna and mehendi painted designs.  While she is based in Johor Baru, she has a network of associates nationwide who work with her to meet orders for their services at weddings, engagements, parties, corporate or fund-raising events and even at girls’ night events. 

Recently I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation from Dayu to join her at an ARTventurous event.  Then I learnt that the event was organised for local art enthusiasts to meet with her visitor, Kiyoka Wada, a henna and mehendi artist from Japan.  I must say that I was curious about this Japanese lady who is also skilled in mehendi, a semi-permanent form of body painting, traditionally for brides, that uses dyes made of henna that is pracitised in India and the Middle East.

Dayu M. Selim [Left] with Kiyoka Wada
in Johor Baru for ARTventurous Nite
The Japanese have a tradition in body art but they use the art of tattoo rather than the art of henna painting or mehendi.  Intrigued by a Japanese lady who is keen on an Indian-Middle Eastern traditional art, I went to meet Kiyoka.   

She turned out to be a down-to-earth young lady who lives in Osaka.  Speaking in simple English, she explained that she used to be an “office worker” and practiced Japanese Criminal Law.  Her passion for body painting clearly out-weighed her interest in Law and three years ago, she decided to pursue her passion in henna art and design.

Kiyoka established Kurikiyo Design & Art and posted her unique work on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook that garnered a great deal of interest from henna art enthusiasts worldwide.  This was how Dayu connected with her and as they discovered their shared interest, Kiyoka decided to come to meet Dayu and others here who are also keen on this form of art.

A range of Kurikiyo Design & Art products by Kiyoka
Many Japanese girls are into art on nails, creative coiffures or fashion designing but Kiyoka wanted to set herself apart with her unique designs.  Kiyoka admitted that she is also keen on the Japanese art of wearing tattoos but she couldn’t decide on any design so she gave up the idea.  However, when she tried to paint her arm with henna designs, she discovered that her skin is allergic to the henna dye!

While this may seem tragic for a henna artist, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise because this setback challenged her to do more with her art.  So instead of limiting her designs to body painting, Kiyoka has ventured to painting on other mediums including walls, candles, cakes, crockery, leather fashion accessories and fabric as well as art décor items.  Her meticulously hand-painted products are custom-made originals that truly reflect her design tagline, “Rich Pattern and Fragile Beauty”

From JB, Kiyoka went to Putrajaya with Dayu for a bridal fair where she met with more people who were fascinated by this Japanese lady who has such a passion for henna painting and mehendi.  Her art and designs have taken her to more than 20 nations where there are people who are also excited about her art and range of products.  The last I heard, Kiyoka was travelling to China to share her art with friends there!

Here’s a glimpse of Kiyoka’s art and products:

Fabric hand-painted with Kiyoka's art
Models wearing Kiyoka's painted fabric tailored into party dresses
A set of tea cups hand-painted with mehendi art by Kiyoka
For more info and her latest product range, visit website:


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