Artist’s Statement

The visual experiences that move me, color, composition, and luminosity, are in nature around me. I feel that I am grounded in observation of it. I hope that the translation of what I observe turns into color, shapes, and brush strokes, and it is my wish to evoke the spiritual through the visual. I embrace, with gratitude, those artists who have given me gifts in the form of inspiration, influence, and permission. I have learned and keep learning from their art.

My mother's cousin was in politics; whenever he could paint he did so. In my childhood when I visited his home with my mother I saw freshly painted oil paintings that he was proud of. I saw stacks of Mizue (an art magazine, no longer published) and the original sculptures he collected. His sons, my second cousins, painted, too. I saw that to paint was a part of life.

My parents' house faced west. One day the sunset sky was incredibly luminous. I took out my watercolor set to paint. That was the moment I took painting as a part of my own life.

The artists whose works I continue to look at today in books, reproductions, and of course in museums include the same artists I came to know when I was very young: Miro, Klee, Matisse, Picasso, the Impressionists and the Surrealists. Beginning with the 19th century, Japan has been fascinated with the Western culture, initially European, then later American. While I was in college studying architecture I did not know what artists in New York were painting nor how important their art was to become for me later. I am proud to be related to Hans Hofmann, and the New York School, since my teacher, H. Peter Kahn, was Hofmann's student.

In 2000, in Philadelphia's Museum of Art, I encountered the Japanese 17th century artist Hon'ami Koetsu and his universe. It was like a homecoming. All this time, with all those western Masters, I was picking up what I liked about them, but with Koetsu I came to understand something more: 350 years between Koetsu and me vanished in one leap. His space on a page or scroll is quiet but dramatic, executed in a simple style. His fluidity and luminescence is soothing and calming. As a visual artist I share the world of Koetsu and the essence of his art.

I also adore the world of my European and American Masters. I have been able to create my own universe where both worlds mesh as one in a spontaneous and natural way.