I am an immigrant. There are a lot of personal reasons why I left my country, but one of them was that I couldn’t bear the oppressed culture of old Japan. The discriminations against woman were everywhere.The gender gap score of Japan is still 120th out of 156 countries. It’s an unfathomable number for a “developed” country. It looks as if nothing has changed in 30 years, when I left there. My father transferred a lot, and we moved every 1-3 years without my consent. I felt my life was alway rootless. When I came to live in America, I thought I finally made my choice of where to live, but I still feel like I've just escaped from Japan.
Perhaps because of my experiences, every time I heard the news of refugees, my heart ached so much. I can’t imagine how it’s like to be displaced, without knowing where to go with the constant fear of death. When I saw strong summer sun reflections hitting on the East River, I couldn’t stop thinking of the experience of these people who were sitting like the sardines in a can and floating around on the boat with an orange life jacket. I saw the photos of the procession of people carrying bags and children. Where were they going, and where did they end up? Even if they arrived in a new country, the may not be able to have what they used to have - maybe they lost families, their properties, status, and language...all sort of things.
From 2016, I started collecting the photos and articlesof people who had been displaced from their place due to politics, war, religion, and various other reasons, and I stared drawing/painting of them. I’ve been questioning myself constantly - what is this for? Volunteering and fundraising would be much more beneficial than painting. Also I thought it would be awkward for me, who knows nothing, to portray suffering beyond my imagination. I could not help drawing to pray for the souls of those who were alive and those who lost their lives. This is my prayer for everything , when it’s all purified and returns to white. It’s been taking a long time to paint this series and now Afghanistan has begun. Does my journey ever end? I just have to pray for the peace.