I believe that this "Hannya" is one of my best works I’ve ever created.
The Hannya mask is a mask representing a female serpent-damon filled with malicious jealousy and hatred, worn by women betrayed or spurned by their lovers who turn into serpent demons.
The story of Hannya may not be acknowledged so widely unless you are well informed about Japanese traditional theater, Noh. Even I myself did not know about the details of the meanings which this famous mask contained until I made some research about Noh masks for other works of mine, "Boukyo-Nostalgia".
In Genji story, which is widely acknowledged as the world’s first novel, written by a court lady in Heian Japan (795-1192 AD). Genji, a man of passionate impulses and a lover of beauty, the favorite son of the Emperor, though his position at court is not entirely stable. "Aoi no Ue" is the Genji’s first principal wife, married to him when he is 12 and she is four years older. Not surprisingly, she finds him childish, and their relations remain uncomfortable until her death. her death was brought by an evil spirit of Lady Rokujo who is the Widow of the crown prince Prince Zembo and a longtime mistress of Genji.
I was inspired with so strong woman’s emotion and love that Lady Rokujo held in her as to change her into evil spirit to attack her rival, which is represented by "Hannya mask" in Noh performance. I wanted to express the naked nature of women that is held in our depth.
Love is always a double-edged sword…
In the past couple of months, my life had been totally screwed up by the explosion of this bomb. I had got through ardent passion with a man and lost it so quick and sudden.
He was gorgeous.
I am usually extremely picky. I have been always wanting to protect a peaceful life of my little wild and also wanting to have my time for concentrating on my Art instead of dealing with confusions by inviting new people in my life so easily. So in those romance department, I had kept my single life for years after I put the end on my last love with my ex-boy who is still now very close each others like the family.
My life was calm and well-controlled.
But, those peaceful life had suddenly changed by his eyes.
The first date with him was fun and friendly. I was not expecting any more things at all. He was a gentleman from the beginning to end of the evening. We kept smiling until his deep blue eyes showed the shadow of an abandoned little baby dog, saying good bye at my apartment door in the end of our date. In that moment, my life had fallen into a deep hole of an aphrodisiac. He had suddenly jumped into my life from there very naturally.
After the evening, I felt like I got on a roller coaster. Everything was fun spending the time with him. Picnic in the beach, fire works, sports game watching, boating on lake… and we gave every spare moment to exchanging our passions.
I was even feeling the special Charisma in him. He was like a walking Wikipedia and always tried making me laugh with the jokes out of his amazing knowledge. I became totally crazy about him in such a short time.
But as time goes by, in such rapid developments of passions, fine cracks had started forming inside of me. My emotion was getting hard time to keep up with grasping what was going on there.
In spite of my agitation, his responses were always patient in polite smile which made me more nervous. He did not show his emotions so much and I could not see what was on his under water at all. I mean. He was always passionate, but I could not tell if he was passionate because of me or just for his own fantasy of love. It got me scared to get involved in there more and more.
I eventually told him that I got scared. He said that he understood. Then we just put the end on our dating. It was so sudden and hollow after sharing such deep passions and fun time together. I really did not understand what we were and what the time we shared was after all…
The myth of "Gemini" was so true.
Anyway, getting through crazy depressions for some weeks after the good-bye, I think I’ve grown a little bit now.
As an artist, I realized that if I started any relation with a man next time, I’d better be with someone who really takes interest in my Art including what are making my Art. Even my strong emotions are the part of my Art. Unless my partner has the interest in being with and supporting those Artist’s inner world, my life would be torn into pieces after all.
I have recalled one scene of an old movie, "Seven years in Tibet".
Brad Pitt and his friend fell in love with a lady at the same time. The two men made opposite approaches toward her. Brad showed off his gorgeous skills and talents as a famous mountaineer, but the other man was just staying close to her helping and supporting her activities. And the one who won her heart at the last was the later one.
"Mr. Gemini" was totally the type of Brad Pitt. While I was with him, getting overwhelmed by his charismatic powers, what I was always feeling was how he was gorgeous, how he was smart, how he was…… then I had stopped and realized, "how about me?"
As long as I had stayed with him, I would have been taking the part of his shadow feeling it would be my happiness to be able to support such a great man, and my Art would have been buried.
On the other hand, my ex-boy whom I wrote about a little before was an Art collector. Artists were his life inspirations and he loved supporting Artists. I have been with him for more than 8 years now, the first couple of years were as lovers and even after we put the end on our relations as lovers, we are still exchanging close cares like family members and without his support, my Art would not have made in this San Francisco.
It was a good lesson for me to learn that passion and love were different. I was really attracted to Mr. Gemini, but now I can see that it was a totally different feeling from those stable bond that I share with my ex-boy.
Well, storm has passed. All are past now.
Those some weeks were really tough time for me, but as getting age, I have learned how to ‘forget’. I mean, ‘forget’ would not be the right word… maybe could I say ‘ how to sort things out if they are meant to my life or not’?
I do not belong to any religions. As a Japanese, I live following to Buddhism theories, but it is not my religion. But I do believe in the power above me which is leading me in my life, and I believe everything happens for reasons.
I have learned that what dose not work out is what is not meant for my life from the first place. So I do not try to force to bring them to anywhere in vain any more.
You know, this is not any negative action, but I believe this is the strength to ‘accept’ everything as what they are supposed to be.
OK, so now, look at the bright side as American always says* -P*
After all, all those emotionally tough time brought me the fruits of new inspirations.
I have realized that the more I drive myself into the depth of my inside, the more things come up to my visions, visibly or invisibly…. I even do not know if I am seeing them with my eyes or with my mind. I just need to copy them on my canvases. But this mental process is always overwhelming. I often have hard time to deal with my emotions on this state. You could call this ‘depression’ on surface? but actually, in my underwater, so many ‘rebirth’ and ‘reform’ are being made in my thoughts, inspirations, philosophies, etc,. I believe this struggles make my art real. All my art comes from my emotions and my canvases take them to share them with the world. The more I paint, the calmer I become. I am lucky that I am an Artist because whatever happened, wherever I wander off, when I draw, when I paint, I can get my life back.
I found these words in the comment which my friend Eric gave me on my Art before. The Artwork he is mentioning is ‘Hannya".
"The first time I saw your work, I was walking down Valencia street, and I was thunderstruck by one of your paintings. I had to come in off the street to stare at it. It was the portrait of the sexy nude woman with the "evil brain" as I called it, at first. I couldn’t handle the complexity of what you were revealing.
The many layers of a woman’s desires, fears, anger and lust. Can I admit to feeling what I am feeling when I am, looking at the painting? Not in public! In order to own that passion, I would have to externalize it, place my fantasies on someone else, as if they could be real. Otherwise I would feel deep embarrassment that I was capable of lust and fear, if others were to see what turns me on, like an advertisement of my unmet desires.
Art with such a powerful message doesn’t go down easy. For you to reveal that, you have to be a real person, not just the absent artist. You need to attach your image to your art, stamp yourself on it the same way Warhol or Basquiat attached their images (as honestly as they could manage) to their work, sort of accompanied their art even if they weren’t present when the buyer took the painting home. When I look at a Basquiat painting, in the back of my mind I am also seeing HIM, his face, his story, his sexuality, politics. It’s all there together. No mystery about the source of the art. I know his history, and that enriches the art for me, I would want to own one of his paintings because of the complex story and fascinating character behind the art. This is the way your art should be marketed, with you as the fascinating creator. A documentary about you would be fascinating." – Read more
Now I feel that I eventually got know where my Art is heading to….
"I don’t understand, why do I stress a man….
I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon. I couldn’t play myself again,
He walks away,