A woman is my main motif. I carefully select all of the elements of a painting based on my private philosophy of beauty. This philosophy is about gesture, facial expression, pose, specific objects, background, location, situation, spacial composition, surface texture, line thickness, nexus of layers, degree of blurring. This means I select outward things with my personal subjective judgment.
When I stand in front of a new white panel, I have a clear vision of what beauty is for me. I can say that I draw and paint only to realise beauty, otherwise I cannot draw any attractive works. But the painting would be different if I were a different person. My idea of beauty is a very fragile conviction, intrinsically linked to my feelings at any given moment - it changes and is transformed by my feelings. This fragility plays quite a role in the ambivalence that I feel when I talk about my painting.
My value judgment of beauty is informed by my fresh feeling of being alive. Of course the actual feeling might change as time passes. What once had value might be discarded and another thing might gain absolute value. So, I try to think that time stops when I draw. I try not to update myself; I eat the same type of sliced bread for every meal, I listen to the same two minutes of music on loop, endlessly - I eliminate everything except painting and subsistence.
But I can never completely escape from “thinking” or “feeling”, and the painting is spun or swung around by these feelings. I try to calm this movement in order to paint, but sometimes I am dragged along by a terribly strong swing. I am perplexed by how these swinging emotions can change a painting - these changes can occur many times, and so the painting becomes multilayered. At the same time, there is always the hope that my attitude or my idea of beauty will be altered, or updated, at any time.”
A prominent Japanese scholar on the subject of humor in Japan, Inoue Hiroshi, has recently been exploring the sense of psychological transition we may experience when we laugh. It is intuitively comprehensible to most of us, I gather, that we can feel after a good spontaneous laugh somehow different from how we were just a few seconds before. One of Inoue’s questions in his work The Power of Laughter [warai no chikara] is this: What happens to us mentally in between, in the initial eruption and inside the experience of laughter? This is an excellent and important question, I believe, although difficult to verify and make sense of, which is at least in part perhaps why it hasn’t received more attention up to now.
Inoue suggests that with a deep spontaneous laugh we can feel as if the mind is evacuated, and with this we may experience a sudden dissolution of the self. I should point out that even if this conceptualization has a certain Japanese feel to it, there is nevertheless good evidence that what is being described is not a uniquely Japanese experience. The American literary critic Samuel Weber makes what would seem to be a related observation, writing that after the initial burst of laughter “we ‘come to’ and find ourselves engulfed by laughter” (703). It is as if for a moment we disappear and come back. Anca Parvulescu’s work on laughter cites Georges Bataille observation that in an intense bout of laughter, “I became in this Nothingness” unknown,” adding that “The ‘I’ that tells the story was not quite there when the laughter burst”.
In more mundane terms, I think this is what the American comedian Milton Berle was referring to when he said that “Laughter is an instant vacation.” We don’t actually go anywhere in laughter, of course, but we may experience a departure and return somehow because the mind is momentarily “vacated.” Inoue actually uses the kanji for vacancy and absence to describe this psychological shift. When I suggested to him that I sensed a Buddhist element at this point in his writing, he replied that he was influenced by the twentieth century Japanese philosopher and Zen scholar Kitaro Nishida.”