I start to make new works for the next exhibition,

feeling both anxious and excited.

I enter a deep FOREST without a map.

I don't know what is living in the FOREST ahead of me.

But I'm sure something from this unknown world is awaiting me.

When I work, I don't have a detailed plan in advance. I start to work only at the moment I feel a certain motivation, because I want to value sudden thoughts and flashes of inspiration. When I started to prepare for the exhibition "生/LIFE", I was thinking about diversity in our society. 'Our society consists of various people, each one an individual'. This thought gave me the vague idea to write the character 'LIFE' in various ways. Normally I would use only Chinese rice paper to write on, but I decided to try other kinds of paper to express this concept of diversity. 'Oh right!, I'll try paper from across the world.' As I looked for foreign paper on the internet, I also came across different materials for writing. As a result, I came to use acrylic paint, dye, charcoal, pastel and so on. When some African paper was delivered, it made think of using coffee as an ink. Then I began to experiment even more; I began to tear the paper, carve into the paper, burn the paper....in order to express the character 'LIFE' in as many ways as possible. These were all totally new techniques to me. One day when I pinned a "LIFE" piece on a wall, it began to move gently in the breeze of air-conditioner. For me it suddenly became almost alive, and expressed individuality. Then, when I filled a wall with a lot of "LIFE" pieces, I saw a scene that represented many people, each living their own life. At that moment I decided exactly how to display my works in a gallery. All of my "LIFE" pieces would be pinned on a wall, without frames. The number of "LIFE" pieces would be 365, one for each day of a year.  I won't arrange them stiffly in the grid pattern like a military parade, but place them randomly and freely.

We are living our daily life,

being constrained by an existing sense of values.

But in a FOREST, I can encounter something unknown.

I can think something in a different way.

Then, when I emerge from this FOREST,

I will look up at the sun and feel that I've become a new 'self'.





LIFE/生, Art Projects Gallery -Hong Kong (China)/2019

Be Here Now, Pierre-Yves Caër Gallery - Paris (FRANCE)/2018

生/LIFE, Bunkamura Box Gallery - Tokyo (JAPAN)/2016

Charity Exhibition: Ri-Vivere, Arte Giappone - Milano (ITALY)/2011

At 14:46 on March 11th 2011, a massive earthquake hit Japan. The shaking was so terrible that it was impossible to stay standing. This was my first experience of such a huge natural disaster, with such massive numbers of Japanese casualties. Yet the catastrophe is not over: the fatally crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station continues to spread dangerous radiation over eastern Japan with no clear end in sight. The news of the earthquake spread quickly throughout the world; within hours I received a tremendous number of messages from abroad worrying about my safety. After confirming our personal safety, each message concluded "Is there anything I can do for Japan ?"

In the light of such a terrible disaster, I made the decision to organise a charity exhibition in Milan, Italy. The theme of the exhibition was: " REVIVAL 11/03/2011 ". Now is the time we should reconsider our relationship to the Earth. Our ancestors respected nature with awe and reverence, coexisting with nature for centuries. Perhaps remembering the ways of our past will guide us towards a better future, both for us and for the planet. The proceeds from the exhibition have been donated to victims within the stricken area. Even now, the victims of the quake and tsunami are still living within temporary shelters throughout the damaged region, and they need our help to rebuild their lives. I am grateful that so many people came to the exhibition and extended the hand of friendship from all Italians to those in the stricken areas of Japan.

Cooperation: ARTESSE Yuko Sakurada


協力:アルテッセ 桜田裕子

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