Masashi Shiobara has been selling my paintings in Japan for many years. He’s become a good friend and today I had the pleasure of visiting his hometown on Mount Akagi. It’s about three hours from Tokyo. We drive up the windy roads made famous by the street racing manga and anime series Initial D. Once we arrive, we take a ride across the lake in the Art Office Shiobara boat (above left). Masashi’s nephew (above right) looks adorable as he poses for a photo in a traditional costume at the tourist center.
Masashi looking cool for the camera.
The midday fog rolls in and we decide to walk down the 800 stairs (above right) to the natural spring. I do this successfully, down and up, in 4 inch heels! The landscape is amazingly green and lush.
Masashi’s childhood home.
Cleansing with the spring water at Akagi Shrine (above). In 2007, a Shinto priest from this shrine gave me my name in Chinese characters.
Misako and Jeffrey Rosen are two of my favorite people in Japan (above left and right). I’ve known Jeffrey since his LA days, which seems like ages ago. Their gallery Misako & Rosen served brunch yesterday afternoon, all food handmade by Misako, for the opening of Kazuyuki Takezaki’s show titled “Numbers and Variations”.
Details of the installation (above). It was a fun afternoon with many artists and friends stopping in to see an inspiring show.
Kyoko and Atsu’s pet turtle enjoying his dinner.
I meet Masaki and Rumi at the train station and we travel to Mishima to visit Clematis no Oka, a museum complex located in the foothills of Mt. Fuji.
There are beautiful gardens and several museums to wander through. The Bernard Buffet Museum houses over 2000 of his works.
In the Izu Photo Museum designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto, there is a haunting display of photos by the artist Seiichi Furuya. His wife committed suicide in 1985 by jumping out of their East Berlin apartment window and Furuya has meticulously poured over the photographs he took of her, in hopes of bringing her back into “the flow of time”. The title of the installation is “The time is out of joint”. It’s a beautiful work about memory and loss.
Rumi walks across the hanging bridge (left) and Masaki poses for the camera (right)
I visited my friend Atsu Tagaya at his office and showroom for Stevenson Overall Company. We talked about my project in Tokyo this time. My textile research gives him the idea that we could eventually produce knitwear designs.
He shows me color samples for cashmere and wool.
Late night with Masashi Shiobara! He is dressed as a fisherman from Hokkaido.