My painting practice is centered around the depiction of figures, symbols, and abstract spaces using multi-layered ornamental surfaces and fields of color. I blend visual languages and culturally coded images drawn from my experience growing up in a traditionally-oriented Japanese community in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
Because of my upbringing, I consider myself a mixed-language painter with liberal access to eastern and western perspectival systems, architectural graphics, pop animation, pre-Renaissance European painting and exuberant color. Recently, observational drawing practice has been added to this menu. My work depicts friends, mythological scenarios and interior spaces with vivid meshes of geometric shapes, freehand brushwork and planes of color to envision a gestalt impression of the subject - as experienced in many dimensions.
My work is driven by material and semiotic ambitions. As a visual experience, the surfaces are mixed-media palimpsests scaled to the human body. I begin the panels with carefully diagrammed collages of acrylic-coated mulberry paper that serves as the architecture of the images. I operate with a broad spectrum of mark-making techniques, using experimental pigments that I rub, spray, pour, paste and dot onto thick, wooden supports–this requires research into esoteric paint applications to create surfaces that refract, absorb light, shine and reflect back on their viewers. Through these processes, I aspire to envision textures that speak to the ecstatic visual experience impressed upon me visiting the shrines and temples in the city of Nikko; the heart of mountain worship practices in Japan.
Linguistically my works are multicultural, permeable coats of arms. I explore a space of meaning theorized by philosophers as intertextual. However, my works eschew the dissonance and discord between the references and artistic traditions I sample. I opt, instead, for radical hybridity and co-existence. As a child I experienced such hybridity in traditions like the Candomblé; a spiritual blend of West African and Roman Catholic beliefs and rituals. The irreconcilable contradictions between the Cathedral, the Carnaval, and modern city in Brazil continues to drive my engagement with the universal languages that constitute our collective unconscious. One where the ghosts of Western art history, Japanese animation, South American mysticism, Ukiyo-E prints, Christian symbolism and artifacts from our daily, contemporary experience can float in a state of suspended animation.