U-TOU-TOU series

Concept --> 日本語

Everyone has a variety of emotions. I think it is beautiful to show emotions to people in a way to hide them, rather than show them. However, even if we hide them, the feelings tend to be obvious, and I don't think it is necessary to hide that fact. I think that concealing increases eroticism, tension, and presence. I believe hiding is the real strength.

The process of painting this series is completely different from the finalized ones. The art making process is as if hiding raw emotions and sensations of the heart. I cover the canvas with dove white or white paintings. This covering process is like meditation for me. I think that the real strength of my work lies in concealing and covering up rather than exposing everything, which I guess I was somewhat influenced by the Zen philosophy rooted in Japanese culture.  

U-TOU-TOU's meaning

U-tou-tou is a direct from Okinawa, a small and beautiful southern island in Japan, for praying to their ancestors

How was this series born?

When I was about 20 years old, I visited the hometown of my best friend from Okinawa. When she and I returned to Tokyo, her grandmother prayed to her ancestors for my friend's and my safety, saying, "Let's do u-tou-tou". My concept of relatives and family at that time was more or less "blood-related or not", so I was greatly impressed that she even prayed to her ancestors for safety for me, who was not family, and I learned that there was a very warm worldview that I did not know.

I wanted to describe the experience and painted 'U-tou-tou", which was exhibited at GEISAI, and art event hosted by Takashi Murakami in 2008. Then it was the first one of the U-tou-tou series.