I was born and raised in Japan. My earliest artistic training was traditional Japanese Calligraphy and Zen meditation started around when I was 6.
Calligraphy became my foundation for my eye and hand coordination. I learned human anatomy, how to use muscles and joints of arms and hands to achieve fluidity on the lines. My teacher would take my hand and guide my brush. Her movements are embedded in my brain attic.
My father has been Zen buddhist for all his life. He used to take me to Zen meditation 🧘♂️ every Sunday morning. I would sit with my brother for a couple of hours facing against the wall. My father would tell me to think nothing. On the contrary, imagination in my brain was being imploded in the dimly lit meditation room. My dad always wanted to become a monk since he was in middle school, but his mom forbid to do so. She told him to live normally and have a family, so he did. Though He later became a monk after his retirement and . Zen meditation had a deep impact in me growing up.
My father repeated the word, "Shikantaza," which means, mind yourself just sitting, or just single mindedly sit (Zen master Dogen, 13th century.) Another word, Just Do It. This still is my foundation, and the heart of my art making. I sit for a long time and make my artworks. It often goes into a meditative state. Hazy image from dreams and elsewhere are in my head, and I lay and splash colors, draw outlines around them, then repeat it over and over until it becomes clearer. It takes weeks and sometime months to finish a piece. Artworks grow in time with my mind.