------ I know this may be a bit redundant, but what do you think of your contribution to your hometown, such as the "birth" exhibition in Sendai and the 90th anniversary project of Sendai Mitsukoshi, or the fact that you have made a mark on my hometown, and your work has become popular among local people? It is talking about Miami, or rather, from the world to Sendai, your hometown.
Talking about Sendai from Miami, how should I say, my word may sound rather impertinent.
------No, No, from the world to Sendai! Your important roots, your hometown.
When I was younger than now, I came to Tokyo because, partly because of work, but I wanted
to get away from my hometown!
However, as I have grown older, I have come to realize the importance of family and friends,
and have begun to think about my roots. I have come to think that what I am today is because
of my past, and that my past was not created solely by me, but also by the people around me.
As I get older and think about it, it may not be the same as giving back to my hometown,
but since my work is painting, I have been thinking for the past several years about whether
I could do something through painting that would inspire people in my hometown to be more
vibrant, fun, or exciting.
The solo exhibition "birth" came to fruition, and the Mitsukoshi 90th anniversary project was
decided as a result of that exhibition, and other projects in Sendai are also in progress.
The opportunity to let people in Sendai know about my work is one of the things I was able to
do through my paintings.
For example, in the Mitsukoshi 90th anniversary project, I was impressed to hear a visitor say
"I was moved to see that tapestry*. I am glad I came out of my house.”
As the Covid-19 crisis and the 3.11 earthquake are still fresh in the minds, people in Tohoku
(North-east Japan) are still awkward to go out. But when they walked along the street and saw
the main visual and the tapestry, they said they were glad to be outside, that they felt connected
to the future, that they could feel the light, and that their feelings were refreshed.
I felt that was exactly what I wanted to do.
And since I could not have done this on my own, but it all came together at once with everyone's
help. I am deeply moved, and of course I am grateful, and I also felt that there is such a thing as
the best timing for this.
*Tapestries of the main visuals lined up in the shopping arcade.
------Listening to your story, it seems that even if all the projects had been done too early, your feelings might have been different. What you have expressed had to be now for it required your feeling towards your local community.
Yes, it might not have been possible if I had not done it then, and it might have been different if I had been a little younger.
It seems to me that it is only now that I have been able to combine various thoughts and feelings.
After having the opportunity to have my work seen in Sendai, I hope to be able to do something else with the people of Sendai on another occasion. At the same time, my consciousness has expanded from Sendai to Tohoku. I feel that I want to expand my consciousness not only to the people around me, but also to the people of Japan. I began to think that the meaning of painting and creating artwork is that my artwork can be a catalyst for the people of Japan to be more full of life.
For example, there are many places in Japan that are prosperous, but at the same there are many more area that are not so prosperous. But such places often have rich specialties, industry, nature, etc. I felt that we could do something to provide a catalyst for their revitalization.
That is one of my goals in life.
It is not as big as to be called a community revitalization, but I think participating in such activity is interesting and it overlaps with the meaning of my own activities.
------I can imagine that your thoughts will spread from your hometown with more and more positive energy, which will eventually spread to the rest of the world! I think your significance of painting will become even stronger.