Saturday, 27 March 2010

Mikiko Kumazawa, artist

Mikiko Kumazawa is an artist, who does large drawings full of chaotic and humorous details. In October, 2009, I was writing a short article about her exhibition at the Citizen's Gallery at the Setagaya Art Museum, so I emailed her a few questions, and got the following response.

CBL: Can you tell me more about Panicked? [the name of one of her works]

MK: I have been hearing, on recent news, about the recession (the recent extremely bad economy) all over the world. This inspired my enthusiasm to represent something which is not influenced by the depression, something unshakable. My inspiration led me to express such a thing as “women” in contemporary Japan.

CBL: What did you include naked pregnant women in the picture?

MK: I expressed pregnant women as the existences from which I can feel the "spiritual" and "instinctive power of women." I mean, I thought in contemporary Japan, the thing capable of overcoming this situation is symbolized by women.

CBL: What do they mean?

MK: The pregnant women are like Japanese hobgoblins (inhuman) in their forms (swelling belly and corpulent breasts), and are like something spiritual in their unbelievable abilities to create babies. There are many forms, types of gods and hobgoblins mingled in the work. I feel that Gods and hobgoblins are very close. Gods are the existences that are not only able to help, save and lead us but also, as hobgoblins, horrible. On the other hand, hobgoblins are sometimes the existences that are beautiful and spiritual as Gods. I drew the link between Japanese modern hobgoblins and the power of modern women.

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