Wow, it seems like it has been forever me wanting to go to Japan, and now it is finally happening. I've been very fortunate to have been invited there for an Artist in Residence for the month of October.
I will be staying with Japanese artist and art school owner Kimiko Matsumoto. We were introduced to each other in 2010 by one of my clients who has been following my work for quite some time now and knew of my interest in Japanese art.
During my trip to The Land of the Rising Sun, I will be immersing myself in the local traditions and customs of Japanese culture, in search of inspiration for the series of Children’s books that I'm writing and illustrating featuring many of my characters; Little Warrior Girl and Boy, Kuini, Tikina, and the Magical Hummingbirds. The stories are loosely based on Maori myths and legends. Whilst my art has a distinct New Zealand theme, you can feel my Japanese interest interwoven with the folklore of Maori mythology giving my work a sense of enchantment that feels truly magical. I will also be spending time at Kimiko Matsumoto’s art school, learning from fellow artists as well as teaching the local students.
I love Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, (this is one of his pieces to the right of the pics above) whose work I came across by chance when an art contributor for the Art News New Zealand Magazine mentioned that elements of my art reminded him of Yoshitomo’s work. Yoshitomo has received international acclaim for his Japanese pop art sculptures and paintings. In addition, Yoshitomo has also written and illustrated his own children book.
The pilgrimage to Japan is an artistic journey that has been evolving with the creation of my characters which pictured here is Little Warrior Girl, one of my favorite. I love how I can bring these two worlds together through my work, combining fairytale characters from Japanese and Maori folklore.
E Frost x