The Art of Zen Archery is the cord and anchor of my artistic life.
The underlying notion of my work is that to have the perfect shot of an archer, you must have immediate action without intervening thoughts. Most of my art combine the heightened experience of space with the present moment. Inspired by formal and ceremonial qualities of Zen archer, the work have a sense of purity in form. The work is solitary and meditative, evoking contemplation.
My art explores notions of memory, identity and living in the present. I collaborate with contemporary dancers, musicians, poets, architects, singers, Buddhist priests and traditional Japanese arts to create a multi-media works. Together as artists, we further refine our work and create a model for artistic and educational interaction.
For example, “Amerika Maru”(l 989) explored the challenges of assimilation in the 1950’s and 60’s Los Angeles and incorporated chanting monks, Flamenco dancers, archery, and big band music. “Ruin Map” project (2001), was a community collaboration with the people of Philadelphia’s Chinatown that was about seeing a community as it was changing.
For the past twenty five years, I have gathered wood chips from construction sites around Los Angeles and recycle them into charcoal. Many cultures hold charcoal in high regard and its production denotes purification. In a recent collaboration with Butoh dancer/choreographer, Oguri’s “Caddy! Caddy! Caddy!” performed at the REDCAT; I designed the stage to incorporate charcoal into the stage design. The artists’ interaction with the charcoal became another performer through its very presence and sound as it was performed upon.
My art is the result of centuries of “spiritual mutation.” When I create, I do so in concert with the spirits of my ancestors and the natural world.
Buffer Zone, Indianapolis Art Museum, Indianapolis, IN
Charcoal Pit, Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Hatsutabi, Noguchi Plaza, Los Angeles, CA
Charcoal Bed, Doizaki Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Muddy Robe, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, CA
IBTH, Japan America Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
Made in California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Silkroad, John Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
2006 – Present
Artistic Director, Japan America Cultural Community Center
1980 – 1983
Buddhist Minister, Koyasan Buddhist Temple
COLA Artist Fellowship
Durfee Foundation Fellowship
Chouinard Art Institute