I create paintings and objects in the theme of “love and truth,” using my own life as the motif that I call “a woman’s life process.”
From a woman’s perspective, I offer genuine representations of emotions that arise as one encounters different events in life. I have portrayed the joys, sorrows and pains in my own life circumstances and events where I am caught between good and evil. I have turned difficult and trying circumstances into strengths. I confront the challenges aggressively, reflect upon them and push myself on as an artist. By expressing who I am as I am, I suggest what tasks God may have given us humans in an abstract manner. All my works come into being naturally as I move forward in life. The techniques and manners of expression continually change with my outer and inner experiences, resulting in diversity.
“Humans must not forsake love and be impelled by lust. Love is paramount, and truth lies in it.” This is the theme for my work.
My motif is the God-given “spiritual beauty,” or “transcendental beauty,” that is contained in “a woman’s life process.” Women go through drastic changes of circumstances in the courses of their lives. They are creatures whose emotional and mental states change from situation to situation. The way a woman moves through life emotionally and mentally, from the time of birth until she dies of age, is in itself dramatic, over owing with love, and exquisite despite the struggle. That is why I choose it to be my motif.
My series of works will conclude when my life ends. However, the works of an artist live on beyond her death. I know my works on love and truth will keep sending their messages out into the future long after my physical body perishes. – Ryuhow Shimizu, 2019
“The theme for my creative work is the preciousness of life and nature on Earth. I am a young Japanese girl fighting an intractable disease. There is a machine buried in my head. I am alive in this moment thanks to the love and goodwill of the medical doctors who offer cutting-edge treatment. I have gone under a series of operations, and I need the support of others to function from day to day. My works are born from my struggle with the disease. The rough experience makes the pieces uniquely my own. My paintings and the mentality they express originate in the circumstances where life and death exist side by side.
“The motifs in my paintings are life, the earth, the heart, love, people, and the cells. I use them to depict the mystery of life. When I work, I weigh in on two angles on how to view the acrylics: as individual entities and as a fluid. Paints as individual entities add depths to the motif subjects as you layer them upon one another, while the way the paints yield to gravity as a fluid reminds me of the water planet Earth and the mysterious construct of life.
“I have lived in an art studio since the day I was born. For me, painting is like eating or sleeping. The act of painting gives me the strength to face situations and rise above them, which I need in battling my disease. My works are my life itself.
“I have learned so much from my disease: that the ordinary things are what matters the most and true happiness is right next to you; that I must appreciate and live each day well; that we are animals and need nature and its bounty.
“Floating in cold space, the water planet Earth must be filled with humanity’s love and keep shining brightly for eternity. As an artist battling a disease, I will continue to devote my life to a pursuit of the theme of the precious life and nature on earth.” – Koko Shimizu 2018