You have a diverse range of mediums, where do you find all your inspiration?
I am inspired by nature. I grew up in rural Japan, and an upbringing like that gives you a strong appreciation for the natural world. This appreciation grew stronger when Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle project began taking shape and my childhood playground became a burial ground for radioactive waste from all the nuclear power plants in Japan. My work became a commentary on society’s relationship with the natural world and touched on themes of ‘life out of balance’. I explore our future’s connection with the past through the present; using drawing, painting, sculpture and photography.
Having dealt with big and complex issues surrounding the nuclear industry, I wanted to create something simple and familiar that I can feel at peace with, so I begun writing and illustrating a children’s book. My first children’s book ‘Bocchi & Pocchi’ is a story about a pair of socks. I feel good about writing something centered around love, warmth and a simple life. Recently I’ve been making collage called ‘chigiri-e’ (Japanese torn paper collage) and the themes are often inspired by the natural world. You have an upcoming exhibition, what do we expect to see?
You will see chigiri-e, and embroidery work called Nanbu Hishizashi. Chigiri-e is a traditional Japanese art form in which pictures are created from pieces of hand-torn Japanese paper called washi. Instead of traditional washi, my chigiri-e uses newspaper which create a unique effect on the images. Nanbu Hishizashi is traditional stitching of northern Japan. Originally invented to reinforce the clothes to endure the cold winter, Nanbu Hishizashi evolved as a rural domestic craft in northern farming communities during the Edo period (1603-1868). My sister and I have been practicing this traditional stitching handed down through our region’s generations. My exhibition is held at a friendly and charming cafe near Angel Station from 7 June to 3 July 2010. Cafe Olive, 42 Penton Street, London N1 9QA