I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan. I had a superb education in Japan, but still, I was not sure about my direction. I moved to New York in 1987. In the beginning, I could speak very little English. My vocabulary was limited. I could pick out some words from conversations, and I would watch people’s faces and try to read their minds.
I realized that there was a divergence of views between what was spoken and what was held in the mind. Even the speaker, does not realize this themselves. This led me into exploring more involved issues.
In my piece “Facade and Essence” (1987), I attempt to show two different minds in existence reflected by lotus seeds with their roots under the water, not visible.
Continuously researching, I seek to expose the much more expansive subconscious mind that occupies most of human life. In “Subterranean Soul” series(1993), there are rectangular cubes that resemble cross-sectional cutouts of earth. I attempt to show the different shapes of the subconscious minds that are not visible from the surface of the ground, a subliminal world.
At the end of this series, I reflect on the realization that we are all tied together at the bottom of the subconscious mind, thus, with differing but shared feeling. At this fundamental level we are all connected to the power of the universe. Some may call it “Universal Power” or “Nature Power,” or it may be called “God.” So I believe in this power of the universe to control the world.
I then started the “Planet Plant” series. I have used various plant forms as a symbol of natural energy. Though we cannot see the movement, everybody can know the existence of energy. This energy grows continuously.
Although primarily educated in Japan, I moved to New York to study at SUNY New Paltz (1987) under Prof. Bob Evendorf and Prof. Jamie Bennet. I have lived and worked in New York City ever since. I found the teaching styles in New York and Japan to be very different. Japan was more apprenticeship oriented. It was a very cohesive metal art tradition. Based upon utility and Japanese decorative art, the tradition does not recognize the validity of or the necessity for radical change. However, I could learn a lot of master’s techniques. My American education allowed me a more intellectual approach to projects. Teachers offered very strong criticism about my artwork, and it helped me to establish a philosophical approach to my work. I thus now appreciate the ability to extrapolate the best of two richly different worlds.