Old Man of Pushcar

“Old Man of Pushcar” 218 x 175
The 80th The Japan Art Institute Exhibition, Japan Art Institute Award Taikan Award
The First Adachi Museum of Art Award
Adachi Museum of Art Collection


 Pushcar is a town in India that is famous for its camel market. It’s called a town, but it is a strange place where suddenly poles are put up, tents are built, merchants and restaurants show up, even a temporary theme park. All these things appear in the desert where nothing existed a half a month before. Then thousands of people and camels come to the town, and then it all disappears after the festival is over. This elder was in a quiet village behind such a town.
 I had enjoyed painting landscapes and animals more than portraits until I went to India to study. India is a vast country. I was busy painting spectacular nature, many ruins, various animals and plants, but I was constantly paying attention to the gaze of the Indian people whose face have such clear cut features. I started sketching the Indians I knew.
 Following the basics, I would decide on the pose and began drawing in a sketch book, but I could not sketch as I wanted. After I sketched several people, I understood the reason. Their gaze was so strong, as if I was modeling for them, and I was not confident enough to be looked at with such a curious gaze. Then I started receiving their gaze with my heart. I received their sharp attention, a focus that seemed to want to clearly express something, and started sketching with the intention to look into their minds through their eyes. By doing that, I felt the way to the kind of portraits I wanted to create was opening up a little.
 Without hesitation, I painted this elder for the first Japan Art Institute Exhibition after I came back to Japan, and I received an award. Now this work is exhibited in the Adachi Museum of Art. When I face this work there, I sometimes face the elder himself, not facing my own work. There are no answers to the questions along artistic path, but this man always encourages me with his never changing gaze.