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View Artist Statement
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Gallery Direct Interview with NORIKO OHASHI|
Noriko Ohashiís imagination will take you on a visual journey to places you may never see, allowing you to drift off into her intimate space to share her thoughts and emotions. Finding it hard to live well in the real world, Noriko moved to an inner world that was more tolerant and forgiving. This enabled her to see what she does not normally see and remember places where she can never return.
At what age did you start painting and who encouraged you to continue in your chosen field?
I started creating things when I was around 16 years old. It was then I met a poet who was also a front man of an experimental theatrical company. I think he gave me much encouragement.
What kinds of images did you first start out with and what medium did you use?
In those days, I strongly wanted to express the surreal landscapes or scenes like Dali, but I couldn't do it well. I remember I used watercolors, ball pen, and pencils. On the other hand, I created funny dolls with paper mash clay.
What formal or informal training have you found most useful?
Watching and appreciating many good artworks that I liked. I had many deep feelings from them, which inspired me to create my own.
You work in a number of different media, which is your favorite and why?
Each media has its own charm. I work in each of them according to my current feelings, but sometimes I am forced to obey my economical situation.
A lot of your work is fantasy related, what or who has inspired you to create these types of pieces?
I think I've created my works only naturally. Creating works of fantasy might have been my best way to become happy.
Have your life experiences or culture influenced your work in any way? If so, how?
Yes, my life experiences influenced my work very much. For example, I didnít have a very happy childhood and maybe not a very happy girlhood either. I didnít think I could graduate from those times, so I used my art so I can have something to express about them forever.
What was your greatest success and biggest setback?
I got a prize in a short film contest in 1992. I think it was my greatest success, and also was my biggest setback because after getting this prize, I fell down into a big depression because I wasnít able to create anything for several years afterwards.
What other interests do you have besides your artwork?
I like reading books of philosophy, cultural studies and mysterious sad stories. I also like to watch Butoh-dance, looking at old photos and watching DVDís of mysterious mystic images, and so on.
What is your ideal working atmosphere and is it dependent on the media and work you are creating?
My ideal working atmosphere is the time that I can feel my soul floating freely. When I see a stain on the wall, or dirt on the paper, someone or something soon appears. I then help them to appear more clearly. I think I can't see them when I'm tied up too tightly to the real world.
Your latest series of pastel works are beautiful. Who is the person you are depicting in these works and why do you never see her eyes?
I have two daughters and I often ask them to pose for my picture. However, I don't think that I'm expressing my daughter. I always want to depict some emotions of girls, like sadness, loneliness, and a shine of hope. Especially I want to depict the complicated emotion of the dreamy girls.
In some of those pastel works, I used my own portrait also. Maybe I never showed their eyes because I didn't want the pictures to become too realistic and obvious. I wanted to express an anonymous despair, not mine.
How do you think or want other people to respond to your work?
I'd be glad if the people would feel some universal feelings, and beauty of emotions.
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