The underlying theme of my work is everyday life. I draw what I see, who I meet, what I eat, where I go, and how I feel in my daily life. It is a record of fragments of ordinary daily life that, looking back, are not memorable.
The reason I started painting was when I worked at a design studio. At that time, I was a graphic designer working in front of a computer screen from morning to night every day in an office in Tokyo, operating a mouse and keyboard. While creating advertisements and magazines by arranging colors, shapes, letters, etc. on the monitor, I was driven by the urge to paint with a brush. When I started painting, my style was to reproduce computer-generated graphic designs with hand-drawn analog techniques. I didn't really dislike the design. I am still very interested in graphic design and also work with computers. I was working as a graphic designer while also painting and showing my work in galleries, and painting gradually became more and more important to me. I became an artist.
I love 60's American pop art. Roy Lichtenstein, in particular, has had a great influence on me since I saw his work in a museum when I was a teenager. So I decided to go to New York, where Roy Lichtenstein and many other artists were active in the 1960s, if I wanted to paint seriously. I wanted to know how such artists were working by living in New York. I also hoped that the city of New York itself would be a source of inspiration for my work. In 2004, I moved to New York City.
When I came to the U.S. in 2004, the U.S. was at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Having no war experience, I could not imagine what the situation was like in the United States. However, when I started living in the U.S., no one around me was aware of the war. They were enjoying a seemingly peaceful and prosperous life. I became very aware of myself as a Japanese person. This is something I could not have imagined living in Japan. Reports indicate that numerous U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in New York restaurants and bars, Americans are having a good time. It made me realize the dual nature of the real world. Then in 2012, Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 15,000 people. I was in New York City at that time. Since then, my work has changed. It was a shift from "how to paint" to "what to paint" that was important to me.
There is a distance between the two countries that only I, born in Japan and living in New York, can feel. And my life is passing at the same time as various events happening in the world. I began to express my relationship with the outside world by painting everyday life. Technically, I have moved from the method of reproducing digital images using analog techniques to painting purely with respect to the movement of the hand.
In 2017, I had a big change of mind. The reason is that I became a father. I began to think about happiness, which I had never been aware of before. What is happiness and how can I make my daughter happy? Currently I think about that every day. It naturally came to be reflected in my work as well. I am currently painting on the theme "What is happiness?