Reflectinga life which is both culturally Japanese and American, my graphite drawingshybridize influences from traditional Japanese calligraphy combined withWestern drawing practices and aesthetics.
Growing up in Japan, every Saturday afternoon was spent with mySensei, a calligraphy master who would assign words for each of us to practice.We would spend hours producing copies of the Sensei's sample. The goal was toimitate the sample, paying attention to the line quality, the varying speed,the pressure and angle of the brush movement. The handling of the brush had tobecome rhythmic and graceful.
At high school age, in preparation to entrance exam to art universityin Japan, I had to take private lessons to learn drawing with graphite andcharcoal practicing techniques such as chiaroscuro and sfumato. Saturdayafternoons were replaced by a Western style art studio with pedestals, stilllifes, and white marble copies of Roman busts, instead of tatami mat calligraphystudio sitting on the floor. The fluid ink was replaced with malleable graphiteand ephemeral charcoal. The wet immediacy of calligraphic line was replacedwith illusionistic volumes meticulously rendered. Instead of going throughdozens of rice papers in a session, one sheet of high-quality cotton paper wasgiven to work on.
Traditional Asian art-forms have often integrated word and image,and my interest and practice also follow the path in my unique way. In mycurrent works, I mostly use images of persons, animals, and still lifescaptured in my daily experiences. A Japanese proverb accompanies each work,spelling out the hiragana and kanji characters intertwine to create a singleline which has only one entrance and one exit. The calligraphic line begins atthe top right and ends toward the bottom left of the page, followingtraditional Asian writing. The single line going through a pictorial plane is ametaphor of a life: one entrance as birth of physical body, and one exit asdeath and loss of physical body, and all the complicated experiences during physicalexistence between these two.