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Towards the light

Oil on canvas

100.0 × 65.2cm | 25 1/2 × 39 1/4in

Stretching out deep in the mountains in my hometown Oita prefecture in Kyushu, untouched "Oike primeval Forest"- primeval forests have become rare to be seen even in Kyushu, Japan's third largest island and a mountainous area located in southwestern Japan-is the motif of this oil painting.

In "Oike Primeval Forest" located at 850 meters on the northside of "Kurotake", which is one of Kuju mountain range in "Aso- Kuju National Park" that straddles the border between Oita and Kumamoto in Kyushu, there are lots of huge trees such as beech trees and maple trees. Once you step into the forest, the leaves and brunches of 100-year-old noble trees stretches over your head.


Only hunters used to enter into this forest, and it is said that even such experts often lost their ways.


An anecdote, that is like Japanese version of Rip Van Winkle, has been transmitted orally from one generation to the next from ancient times. It says, once upon a time, a hunter who had entered the forest and lost his way met a hermit playing 'Go' in the mountain. The hermit taught him the way back to the village. When he returned to his village, he realized that a year had passed, even though he had spent only one day in the mountain. Because of this story, this forest was once called "A Forest of Mystery."

It was one day in September 2017 that I first visited there to execute this artwork. I depicted a dusk of one day when the hot summer was over and the feeling of autumn began to slowly creep into. I didn't want to merely use superficial techniques for the drawing; instead, I aimed to faithfully capture the mysterious atmosphere I had experienced there—like the breeze, the smell of the soil, and even the sound of a creek. I visited the site repeatedly for several months so that I could also express this illusional air as somewhat alike imaginary landscape.

I believe that our world is brimming with the beauty of nature that deserves reverence, and the history of humanity itself cannot have been woven without  the blessings of this noble nature. In this artwork, I conveyed my gratitude to our mother nature in my own way.

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