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Yamagata Prefecture, located in the Tohoku region of Japan, where I am currently based, is where I was born and raised and where I studied art. In this land blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, inhabited by simple people, I find myself harboring both feelings of love and aversion. The complex emotions and landscapes here provide me with a perspective where the micro and macro, the global and local, the specific and universal, the concrete and abstract coexist. For me, this place has become a wellspring of ideas for my creative work.

I carry a dual sense of inferiority about my own background of studying "Western-style painting" at an art university in the "Tohoku region" of "Japan." One reason is that I perceive myself as a Japanese individual who, as a result of modernization through emulating the West, feels like an ugly being due to the internalized Western aesthetic sense. Another reason is that as a person from Tohoku, the history of the Tohoku Emishi, who were subdued as "barbarians" or "demons" by the Yamato Imperial Court in the 7th century, and their defeat in the Boshin War in the 19th century between the "Old Shogunate Army" and the "New Government Army," instills in me a deeply rooted sense of inferiority. The latter is particularly reinforced by the asymmetrical relationship between the center and the Tohoku region, which became more pronounced in the aftermath of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, including top-down reconstruction policies and debates over the legitimacy of locating nuclear power plants.

Thus, for me, creating "Western-style" paintings in the "Tohoku region" of "Japan" is an act undertaken with a highly twisted self-consciousness. However, in my artistic production, I am attempting to further untwist this complexity and initiate a new narrative from a positive perspective.

The rise and fall of Japan, which has developed in pursuit of the West. Symbolizing this, not only marginal settlements but also disappearing settlements are proliferating deep in the roads of Tohoku. In their stead, the flora and fauna of the natural world, liberated from human dominance, rise up. In response, the identities of these beings as "savages" and "ogres," suppressed as "Westerners," resurface...

Through these somewhat delusional images, we hope to express a contemporaneous image of our hometown.
(December 2023)







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