Fernanda Mascarenhas colhendo folhas de abacate para a obra Impressões do Rio Verde

natural dyeing
and my story

Beyond being a natural dyer and textile artist, I’m a performer. I have worked for more than 10 years with Fu Bu Myo In, a group directed by Toshi Tanaka and well known for using Japanese techniques in their performances. In 2015, I started to research natural dye techniques to develop the costume for a performance. This performance, called “Cada Passo” (Each Step), was created by me and it was shown at Casa do Sertanista Museum in 2016. Since then, the endless natural dyeing world enchanted me so much that I have been dedicated fully to discovering more colours, plants, and forms.

In 2016, Cada Passo´s costume won the gold medal in an artcraft context, 10th Bunkyo Great Exhibition of Art, in São Paulo, SP. This prize allowed me to travel to Japan. In this wonderful country, I have a rare opportunity to learn about traditional Japanese ways of natural dyeing and weaving. I have visited three wonderful places: Ars Shimura School in Kyoto, which was founded by master artisan Fukumi Shimura; The Little Indigo Museum in Miyama, which was created by textile artist Hiroyuki Shindo; and the Dye Plant Botanical Garden in Takasaki.


Since then I have been going deeper and deeper into the artisan making of textile art, focused on natural dyeing. In Brazil, I studied with the Japanese textile artist Hisako Kawakami .

about me

I am a natural dyer and textile artist from São Paulo, Brazil. My work explores ancient techniques of natural dyeing with plants. My inspiration comes from the Japanese culture, as such my learning background, but Brazilian plants are my main material and passion. I intend to rescue the lost knowledge about our plants, which, besides dyeing, are medicinal too.


I pick flowers and leaves on São Paulo streets and I take barks and seeds to create colours and forms on fabric or paper. This is a slow process that drives me to another time, so much different from the urban time. I realize the generosity of nature, which offers to me all the stuff that I need to create, even though living in a megalopolis.


Through my work, I would like to share the respect for nature time and its changes. When we stop to observe the little wonderful things that surrounded us on a casual walk throughout our neighborhood, we can awake something superior inside. Something capable to make visible the power of the Earth, from where everything emerges.

Fernanda Mascarenhas abrindo os rolos de impressões botânicas

Main performances


Cada Passo - fugaku performance, contemplated by the Fomento à Dança de São Paulo, created by Fernanda Mascarenhas with the collaboration of the Fu Bu Myo In group - Casa do Sertanista Museum, 2016


Iki-Respiration - fugaku performance, contemplated in the Fomento à Dança in São Paulo, conceived and directed by Toshi Tanaka - Olido Gallery, Oswald de Andrade Cultural Workshop, SP School of Theater, Tucarena and Guarani Krukutu Village, 2013. A new version was made at the VIII Dance Promotion Show in 2014


Caminho da Lua - fugaku performance, directed by Toshi Tanaka, awarded by PAC Dança 2006 from the São Paulo State Department of Culture - Cada do Vento, Embu das Artes-SP, 2007


Some publications as a graphic designer

Dancers: São Paulo Dance Company , copyright book by Arthur Wolkovier photography, São Paulo-SP, 2019

Ibitinga: Memories between prose, lines and knots , book resulting from the project Local Memory at School in the city of Ibitinga - SP, edition of Museu da Pessoa, 2019

Porto Nacional: a river of stories , book resulting from the Local Memory at School project in the city of Porto Nacional - TO, edition of Museu da Pessoa, 2018

Suffrage Magazine , authored by Chloé Autran, Gabriela Groener and Laura Comparato, Lycee Pasteur, São Paulo-SP, 2017

Stories: Every school has one to tell , revised as a result of the Local Memory at School project in the city of Guarulhos - SP, Museu da Pessoa edition, 2016


Among mountains and stories , magazine resulting from the project Local Memory at School in Piauí, edition of Museu da Pessoa, 2015


When all the leaves fall , book by Ciça Ohno, Editora Iluminuras, 2013


The house and its stories Book 1 and Book 2 , two commemorative books of the House of Culture and Citizenship of Eletropaulo, Museu da Pessoa edition, 2012

Sorocaba Almanac , magazine that is part of the Local Memory project at Escola da Museu da Pessoa, 2012


Apiaí, Rio de Histórias , a book that is part of the Local Memory project at Escola da Museu da Pessoa, 2011


Indaiatuba em Revista , magazine that is part of the Local Memory project at Escola da Museu da Pessoa, 2010



Collective exhibitions


The Festival of Quilts , virtual exhibition in the category "Quilt Creations", Birmingham, United Kingdom, 2020


12th Great Art Exhibition Bunkyo, headquarters of the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture - Bunkyo, São Paulo-SP, 2018.

Works: Autumn in Japan and Indigo


10th Great Art Exhibition Bunkyo , headquarters of the Brazilian Society of Japanese Culture - Bunkyo, São Paulo-SP, 2016

Works: Each Step and Hagoromo


Corpo de Vento Project, collective installation with artists Toshi Tanaka and Ciça Ohno, Casa do Sertanista Museum, São Paulo-SP, 2016


Wabi Sabi , participated in the scenic installation in honor of the dancer Dorothy Lenner with the work Mangue, Sesc-Ipiranga, São Paulo-SP, 2016





Gold Medal Award in the Art Craft category at the 10th Great Bunkyo Art Exhibition with the work Each step , textile with natural dyeing, 150 x 100 cm, 2016


Finalist among ten best works in the Young Artists MASP-Lufthansa, MASP , São Paulo-SP, 1983.

Main exhibitions as graphic designer


Local Memory Project - Exhibitions, carried out since 2000 in partnership with the Museu da Pessoa , aims to involve public school students in the country in recovering the memory of their communities.


Mazzaroppi Museum , permanent exhibition, Taubaté-SP, 2011


Segall and the Ship , Pedro II shopping center, Campinas-SP, 2010

200 Years of Press in Brazil , exhibition by Cia. Vale do Rio Doce, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Pará and Maranhão, 2008


Local Mémoria na Escola , exhibition for FLIP, Paraty, 2008


Brazilian Cinematheque: 60 Years in Motion , Sesc Pompéia, São Paulo-SP, 2006


What is your Center? , Banco do Brasil Cultural Center,

São Paulo-SP, 2000




Zen Buddhist practitioner of the Japanese Soto Shu School, received lay ordination from master Dosho Saikawa Roshi in July 2012, at the Busshinji Temple, in São Paulo.