My work addresses a perspective on nature that is found within my own culture. I believe personal history is influenced by one's culture, which originates through nature. My work demonstrates how the two are deeply connected, as I have been investigating how I personally relate to my own culture through nature.
I will never forget the moment when I found a single small cherry blossom tree outside my studio during my first year of study in the United States. I have never missed my country as much as I did in that moment, it triggered an intense memory of home which invoked some very strong emotions. From that experience, I have learned that a cherry blossom tree could serve as a symbol of where I come from, as well as enable me to share a very special and personal experience, as the cherry blossom is a very iconic symbol of Japanese culture.
My paintings are created in the Japanese traditional painting technique. I import most of my painting materials, such as Japanese traditional pigments and animal-based collagen glue from Japan. Most of my work is painted on wooden panels or paper, which I have used to begin creating Japanese style screens. This method allows the imagery to help build a connection for the viewer to my culture and background in a personal way. The screens serve as a cultural barrier which is always present, yet not always noticeable, in our everyday life.
Since the recent natural disaster in my home country of Japan, I have begun to yearn for the resiliency so often seen in nature. My paintings represent my wish to exist with nature and culture in a harmonious relationship not only in my life, but also in the person I am and will become.