Crisis! Images, thousands of ideas boxed in my mind, flashing, floating, pounding at the rim of my skull--wanting out--release--relief. I was compelled to paint. It began with my first consciousness and grew in intensity with every year. All my energies are centered in the visual arts. This is the way I relate to the rest of humanity.
How does a person actually put something on an empty canvas?
It begins from my inner being. My first inspiration was the splash of a single droplet of rain on a concrete sidewalk. I was 3 years old. The splash was big--but it was the aliveness of the splash that caught my attention then and continues to haunt me to this day. It is a source of inspiration. In that instant I saw the splash with all the reflections in it, the multitude of colors, the various sharp shapes that emanated from striking the hard pavement. I was possessed by the desire to paint this vision, this experience. And I did paint it then, immediately.
The idea is the key. Multitudes of ideas come floating in, mingling with other ideas, forming new ideas in constant flow. The flow is unceasing. The images sometimes appear in a flash, other times they unfold over a period of years. These ideas take on shapes, colors, textures, feelings, perceptions, reason, organization, a whole microcosm of the world.
I paint in series--a series of ideas. The core idea comes first and triggers more ideas; they combine, they fractionate, they recombine, setting up new ideas, a chain reaction of images. Often I envision a whole series before I begin, but I leave space for changes, working with what evolves. These series are statements of my life, continuously evolving themes that expand with each new painting.
I lead an urban life. From my studio windows in Crystal City I see the panorama of Washington. Cities are my environment, crystalline, gleaming like facets of jewels. It is from this skyline perspective that I compose my cities series. International in scope, the paintings are of places where I have lived and traveled--Chicago, where I grew up, New York City, where I lived. Also, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, Paris, Mexico, and Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas.
The visions are spatial perspectives that edge on surrealism. The people in the paintings engage in dialogue, emerge from subways, lean on balcony railings, view television, manipulate computers. They are surrounded with the accouterments of urban living, experiencing the highs and lows, darks and lights. Missiles emerge out of Crystal City in "Ground Zero," a stream-of-consciousness painting in which nuclear capitals float in the sky while a satellite from another universe hovers. This series constitutes studies of contemporary civilization.
High technology is the thrust of what I call the "module man" series. The works express people caught in the drama of living in the milieu of science--electronic, computer and space technologies. Much of the material for this series comes from my science education and work experiences. Vivid acrylic colors with hard-edge and brush stroke techniques on canvas convey surrealistic and cartoon-like imagery with touches of frustration and irony. In this series I endeavor to express the exuberance for life amid the technology created by man.
The political scene is another focus of my curiosity, since I have spent many academic years in the study of political affairs and live in the city of politics. The paintings and drawings reflect politicians and their interactions. Conflict and compromise, learning to live together, are the issues I try to visualize.
After painting detailed subject matter I feel a strong need to express myself freely in abstract minimalist terms. This motivated my free-form series called "Free Spirit" paintings--engaging the mind and body in free-flowing, sweeping movements, an act of liberation. The "Free Spirit" series is based on my American-Japanese background. They consist of concepts meaningful to both cultures, such as "Origin," "Life Force," "Metamorphosis," "Justice," "Friend," "Above and Below," "Adam and Eve" and "Hope." This series of scrolls and paintings are acrylic on linen and rice paper. The forms are reminiscent of stark Zen gardens. These literal symbols painted in fluid bas-relief take on sculptural qualities. It is here that my creativity completes a cycle and moves on.
Artwork is the bridge between the artist and the viewer, between the past and the future. The artist is a pioneer, constantly searching for that intangible fulfillment of reality and dreams.