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Reflecting on Japan 2014

A long day bird watching with friends

I spent a majority of 2014 working and studying in Japan. I would spend my free time exploring the futuristic city lights of Tokyo and the peaceful wind-swept countryside in search of inspiration on art and life. I have always been interested in Eastern art, particularly traditional Japanese techniques. Japanese artwork is filled with rich tradition and unique techniques– from Sumi-e (ink paintings), to Ukiyo-e (wood block prints), and Ikebana

(flower arranging). Many Japanese traditional art techniques require patience and years of practice. Being immersed in this culture opened my mind to a new aesthetic that brought me inspiration. The combination of Eastern and Western philosophy more often than not seem to counter each other. Having a western art upbringing, I hope to find a balance between the two. For me this sometimes felt like trying to swim up a waterfall, whether it was my daily routine, or reflecting on my work, asking myself why I’m drawn to certain colors and compositions. Sometimes the least embellished things can bring the greatest emotion, and the small leaf floating down a drainage ditch can convey a genuine sense of beauty that is certainly around all of us everyday in all shapes and form.

Thank you to all the wonderful people I met throughout my stay in Japan, whose kindness helped me adapt to a new life style.


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