Mr. Bokuseki


When I go for a walk, I always carry a paper sketchbook and a yatate (stationery that allows me to carry a brush and ink together). If I see a dragon-shaped cloud or when I clearly see a dragon, I sketch it on the spot. I start with a sketch that looks like clouds in a landscape painting and when I have many piled up, I select one that looks like the right structure and replace it with a more concrete shape of a dragon. And finally, I create a three-dimensional work. I’m still trying to figure out how to do it, but it’s like an image that is going from a ghost to something with a body. The drawing of an ink sketch is a complete image, but as an oil painter and sculptor, it is unique for me to explore how to develop this two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional one.

After graduating from art college, I was employed in cultural property restoration work for about five years. Simply put, most of the repair work consisted of slowly restoring the lacquered part of the cracked object by filling the gaps. It is a method used to maintain a status quo rather than restoring it to its original state, and it's a way to fix it so that you know that there's a scratch, but it's not noticeable. For example, when you sharpen a knife, the sharpness changes as you gradually narrow the grain from the rough iron. This process gradually gives the surface a glossy finish. I feel like there was an evolution in my current work by moving through stages with similar ideas.

It was around the time I was commuting by train that I became particularly aware of "seeing" in my life. I felt that I had to do something, and to do so, be able to draw the shape of the things I saw, I spent about three years doing things like drawing my hand with a pencil in a sketchbook on the train every day. I kept going, and at that time, I gradually began to think about "seeing" things. At first, you think that what you draw is good. But when I look back, I wonder what it is that makes me think, "Wow, I'm not good at it." After all, "seeing" comes before "drawing", and I believed that it was the first foundation from the point of view of people who create things. By looking at it, I choose what I like and give it a shape, so I only sketched the outline of the hand and didn't even draw the fingerprints at that time. Then, the reason why I don’t draw is that the selection is made automatically or intentionally there. In other words, "seeing" itself is the beginning of making. Before that, something like inspiration or the sixth sense may work, but after, there is always the act of "seeing", which is also selected by intuition. In the end, you will also be able to see what you have made. That’s why I think that it's a similar feeling to "eating".


What I want to convey in my work is quite grand, but "circulation" is one of my themes, and our bodies are part of the cycle, so it would be nice if I could express that through my work. I have had this idea for a long time. The image of water that is constantly circulating, or the theme of dragons, was a perfect fit for me. The dragon is a symbol of water, and the motif of the dragon itself has been transformed by humans for over 6,000 years. I wish It could be shown in my work. I'm still thinking about how I can shape it in my life. I don't want to show it conceptually as a phenomenon, but I want to show it as a solid entity. Also, not only in works but also activities, for example, by buying works, a certain percentage of the money can be returned to people who make tools. It would be nice to be able to do something like this someday, which would be a different goal from creation.