除災招福 JO SAI SHO FUKU
(WARD OFF CALAMITIES, INVITE GOOD LUCK):
GODS AND YOKAI IN TIME OF PANDEMIC
Amabie-chan Contains COVID-10, 2020
Mineral pigment, gofun, gold leaf, silver paint, oxidized silver leaf on cedar wood panel
4.4 x 2.4 x 0.2 inches (11.2 x 6.2 x 0.6 cm)
FROM THE ARTIST:
Of the many supernatural entities who contain pandemics, I chose Amabie because it has become such an icon in the current battle against COVID-19. I live in Kyoto, a city of festivals and rituals held year-round to ensure spiritual protection, healthy, peaceful everyday lives and contain pandemics. I believe that we place our wishes and feelings of hope and fear of the unknown in Art. Creative expression offers solace to both artist and viewer and encourages them to carry on.
My Amabie looks rather venomous. She is neither cute or comforting. The original amabie was said to be shining so I used gold leaf and gold mud paint. I used cinnabar for red, a paint used in kofun, ancient burial mounds. Red protects one from evil. Here Amabie is stepping on COVID-19. I hope we all stay strong at this time when the world is upside down and changing rapidly. I send my wishes for everybody to be safe and healthy with this painting.