Mylla Ek was born and is presently based in Stockholm, Sweden. Her roots and heart are however, from the island of Fårö, Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Mylla grew up in a family of artists. Her mother is a well known textile artist, most noted for her hand-woven tapestries. Her father is a dancer and actor in the theater. Her interests in handicrafts, textiles, art and contemporary dance became naturally a part of her upbringing. Mylla studied textile and fashion at the Beckman’s School of Design in Stockholm, and art and stage design at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in the Netherlands.

Mylla’s first project as a set and costume designer was in 1996 for a dance production lead by her grandmother, the choreographer, Birgit Cullberg. She moved to Holland thereafter, and designed the sets and costumes for dance productions. She has worked at the Nederlands Dans Theater, and later with Semper Oper in Dresden, Deutche Oper am Rhein, in Germany, Norske Opera og Balett in Norway, and with The Royal Swedish Ballet and the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm.

Mylla has always had an attraction to the Far East. Since 1998, Mylla has acquired family ties in Kyoto, Japan. Her family connections there have introduced her to weavers, dyers, printers, embroiderers, tailors and other artisans who work with kimono manufacturing. Through the kimono, she has received insight into the different worlds it represents. Whether onstage at the Kabuki and Noh theaters, or worn for ceremonies in private life, its symbolism and meanings, its references in Japanese history, and its thoughts about beauty and ideals has become a revelation. For Mylla, the kimono has its own dramaturgical expression and signifies the different ages of man. This has been her source of inspiration for the work creating, developing and designing for NoKiimo.