This is my contribution to Periscope Studio’s Japan Week art auction. It was done on 500 Series Bristol, with watercolors and ink. The inscription down the side reads: “From my heart, for the sake of Japan. 2011”
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Japan. I spent a year living in a small town called Tomiya, an hour north of Sendai, in Miyagi Prefecture. You can imagine my dismay when a friend of mine directed me towards NHK World News on the night of March 10th.
I have since learned my hometown was spared much of the destruction the rest of the prefecture has experienced, but many places I am familiar with were not. This piece is set in the coastal town of Matushima. I took many trips out there while I lived in Japan. It is on register as the third most beautiful place in Japan, a sprawling coastal city surrounded by tiny islands covered in pine trees. They have temples, shrines, and multi-million dollar fireworks displays in the summer time.
After taking a direct hit from the tsunami that followed the March 11th earthquake, Matsushima is little more than a wasteland. I can’t even begin to imagine how everyone here is going to pick up the pieces and start over again, but I know that they will. If there is one thing the Japanese are good at, it’s putting things back to right as fast as possible.
For my piece, I wanted to reflect on a happier time for Matsushima in the past, and wish for a happier time to exist in the future. These two girls are dressed in their summer kimono, “yukata,” and posing in front of Godaido Shrine. I hope that it isn’t too long before people can experience something like this in Matsushima again, and I hope that the money made from this piece will help make that happen.
This piece is up for auction on Periscope Studio’s E-Bay page. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Peace Winds, a Japanese charity that is working alongside Mercy Corps. While you’re there, have a look at the work my colleagues have done, too! So many great pieces for a very worthy cause!