I have been trying to make artwork that reflects each viewer’s inner self. My works are inspired by my experience in busy train stations in Tokyo where many people keep passing by. In such places, two contradicting feelings come to mind. An overwhelming number of strangers make me feel somewhat lonely; however, at the same time, I feel relaxed and liberated by being just another face in a crowd. I assume that what people feel in such environment depends on their background and mental state at the moment.

Through painting, I would like to replicate the situation that brings various feelings to anyone. In order to achieve it, I utilize blue as a filter to see artwork through, because I consider it to be a unique color that can evoke both positive and negative feelings (e.g., soothing/relaxing vs. sad/depressing). Also, it is to remove the specificity and detach artwork from actual places, so that it looks similar to somewhere each viewer may have been.

In past works, I mainly painted urban train stations with a crowd of people depicted as shadows or negative spaces. In another series of artwork, I tried to portray a girl searching for a place to be, contrasted with a group of others surrounding her. These used to be separate series, but I have combined the two and started to paint the girl wandering in train stations in blue. This girl character is placed as a starting point of interpretation. I keep her emotionless and as simple as possible so that she can function like an avatar in video games that anyone can relate to. She is standing at theatrical-sets-like, staged settings and is contrasted with “others” that are represented as a group of non-human creatures or objects. Although her presence is distinct in each artwork, neither her personality nor relationship with others is obscured. I believe that viewers’ perception of her situation largely depends on how the blue filter is perceived. Some may feel she is lonely, and others may feel she enjoys it.

As I always want to leave a room for interpretation, I hope my works become a mirror that reflects each viewer’s inner state, whether it is positive or negative, and shows another side of them in different times and places.