In the year 2000, I lost my hearing due to a condition known as congenital sensorineural hearing loss. I went from being able to hear to being completely deaf. In 2012, I received a cochlear implant that led to a complete change in my audio, visual, and temporal perceptions. I transitioned from a two-dimensional, monochromatic, soundless world to a blended, two and three-dimensional world with vibrant colors and sounds. Regaining my hearing through the use of the implant has had a profound influence on my work.
This has involved me going beyond the traditional instruction that I received at Tokyo University of the Arts while completing my PhD in Japanese painting. Traditional painting imposed restrictions on my choice of media and materials, and inhibited my new perspective. I felt a strong desire to break down the barrier of two-dimensional visual space and challenge the traditional notions of beauty by using sonic elements in my work.
I am looking to alter the boundaries of aural space: sharing sounds we ignore in our daily lives, and sounds we have yet to discover. My painting and sculpture in my installation prompts viewers to question their preconceptions, further inspiring them to become more empathetic and accepting of others. To this point, I have been exploring the borders and limits of communication between disabled and non-disabled people.
In addition, I am also interested in broadening my knowledge about education for deaf people in the U.S. Japan to help deaf people realize their full potential. It is my hope for the diverse people of Japan and the United States, both hearing and non-hearing, to communicate with each other, and I believe that my art is a way to make education more inclusive.
Through my artwork, I am exploring ways for people to connect with others—people that they perceive to be different—by creating a mutual understanding. I use painting, sculpture, architecture, sound, and performance to convey my art through installations, as well as create musical instruments out of everyday objects. Many of my installations are interactive projects that involve my audience. My hope going forward is to collaborate with deaf people and professional dancers, and invite hearing people to my sound sculpture and painting installation.
Questions I explore in my artwork:
How can people communicate with each other?
How do people recognize communication barriers?
How can people create an effective space and systems for communication?
In conclusion, I wish to create a community inclusive of both hearing and non-hearing people to learn about barriers they have had to overcome. I look forward to contributing my experiences, techniques, and ideas to their artistic journeys as they will contribute to mine. I want to break the barrier between disabled and non-disabled people through artistic language.