Parting, Cherry Blossoms

“Parting, Cherry Blossoms” 182 x 364 The 92nd The Japan Art Institute Exhibition


 I painted this picture in the year of the seventh anniversary of the death of my teacher, Mr. Hideo Shiode. At Musashino Art University, I was taught by Professor Hideo Shiode, Takehiko Mouri, Takashi Asada, and my work was accepted into The Japan Art Institute Exhibition during my college years. After graduation, I became a disciple of Professor Togyu Okumura whom I respected. Since then, I have devoted my life to painting. Without realizing it, more than 30 years have passed.
 Professor Okumura had made a renowned work “Cherry Blossoms of Daigo” in the year of the seventh anniversary of the death of his teacher, Professor Kokei Kobayashi. Professor Shiode painted cherry blossoms in the year of the seventh anniversary of the death of his teacher, Professor Togyu Okumura. That’s why I really wanted to portray cherry blossoms. I felt that I needed to portray them. However, as the cherry blossom is the flower loved most by the Japanese, many masterpieces have already been painted. I decided that I would not portray them at the peak of the season but rather showing the falling cherry blossom petals and the passing of time.
 For my research, I kept walking around the areas famous for cherry blossoms, looking for cherry branches that looked like they were flowing. I kept sketching one cherry tree branch, even though it did not have any flower buds yet, for three days in the biting wind in the middle of winter. I thought it would be hard to see the shape of the branch when it was filled with cherry blossoms. I wanted to finish the outlining of the branch, so I kept on working shivering in the cold. When spring came, I ran under the cherry tree with high expectations, but the branch had grown over the three months, and it was weighed down by the weight of the cherry blossoms. I was a little disappointed, but it was a good learning experience to remember about the life force of plants.
 I imagined myself as a horse running fast in the world of art that so many predecessors had developed. The teachings from my beloved teachers are much like those flower petals blowing in the wind. Sometimes they seem to float within reach, but at other times they seem far away. While working on this piece, I felt a sense of responsibility to keep working hard as somebody who is at the fringe of long tradition of artistic learning. I was also nervous, feeling that I need to sharpen my senses to connect with the contemporary world. This work is a result of such an attempt.