除災招福 JO SAI SHO FUKU
(WARD OFF CALAMITIES, INVITE GOOD LUCK):
GODS AND YOKAI IN TIME OF PANDEMIC
Amabie in Okama, 2020
Oil on canvas
10.7 x 8.7 inches (27.3 x 22 cm)
FROM THE ARTIST:
I believe Amabie is a beautiful goddess. She showed her eccentric appearance to save people and gave them a means to overcome their difficulties. She was a savior.
I moved from Miyagi Prefecture to Yamagata Prefecture last month. Okama is famous for a crater lake and is located right at the border of the two prefectures. Amabie was last seen in the mid-nineteenth century and disappeared. I wondered where she has been for 174 years. This painting is my wish to see her again at this difficult time.
When I experienced the great earthquake in 2011, I despaired that there was nothing art could do in the midst of tragic reality. Still, facing COVID-10 now, we are bringing back Amabie and can share in the story of how our ancestors overcame calamities. I am impressed by this movement. As a painter, I hope my works give people peace of mind. I will keep doing my part as a citizen. In normal circumstances I hope my works are viewed live and in person. Now I find it is possible only by the viewer’s goodwill and effort to come see the paintings. I hope this difficult time will end and I will see you all soon.