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Edo Riverside, Tokyo, Japan
Year: 1966
Dimensions: 159.0cm X 231.0cm
Location: Imabari-city Ohmishima Museum of Art

1966 Water.jpg

For the two years that I was in graduate school, my paintings kept being rejected at the public exhibitions and because of that I had totally lost my confidence. I did not know what to paint for my graduation piece, so I wanted to go on a sketching trip to refresh my mind. I begged my mother to fund my trip, but she refused, telling me that the trip was not necessary because anywhere can be turned into a place that can be painted.

I didn't have much of a choice so I decided to paint the Edo River in Koiwa, where I used to live at the time. I woke up early in the morning before dawn and cycled to the river.

I sat at the bank of the river and used a torch to light up my sketch book; I painted the Edo River as the sky brightened up, then suddenly the near side of the riverbed murmured and then I saw the shape of it started to appear a little by little and the look of the Edo River changed completely from what I was used to.

The sun rose in no time, and the river was back to normal. By that time I had already completed one painting.

This painting was submitted to a group exhibition that I held with my friends. Later on, the graduation piece that I painted with the same theme was purchased by the university and I gained a little bit of confidence.

What I learned from my mother is that location is not important, and that you can make anywhere into a painting.

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