I have been making woodblock printing works on the subject of cow for 20 years.
I feel cows are very beautiful. They have glossy large body covered with soft hair, and big eyes of a deep hue. While holding huge udder, they supple. Although they are livestock, they are also like the nature itself with depth that human can-not know.
However, I live with consuming them. It can be said karma as human beings live in this society.
I carve cow’s hair one by one, like facing my karma.
By drawing an actual cow in life-size, I express beauty and sadness that life is there.
In the winter when I was 22 year old studying oil painting at the Musashino Art University, I went to Hokkaido( Island at Japan’s northern extremity)and worked at dairy farm. As I was born and raised in Tokyo, I hankered for nature and countryside. Of course, I had rarely seen cows in the pasture. The cows I first saw from up close were really big and impressive. I realized that I never thought where milk and meat I usually had came from. Mother cows don’t produce milk unless a calf is born. And when they get old and don’t produce milk they become flesh we eat. I was ashamed of myself that I had eaten meat everyday without realizing them.
There was a very friendly cow in the farm. She always came close to me and brought her cheeks to my face. I was impressed by her kindness.
After I returned to the university, I learned art and woodblock prints. In my graduation work, I expressed the friendly cow that I met in the farm with a life-size woodblock print.
The reason I chose woodblock print to express the cow was that the carved lines with the chisel was close to the texture of cow’s hair.
After I graduated the university, I moved to Hokkaido.
I work at dairy farms, and continue to make works on the subject of cows by watching them closely.