PRESS HOME -Collecting my thoughts

Temples, Shrines,Trees and Parks

(this post is still in process…) Yuko and Michael took me to the most exquisite park and temple this past weekend. Shibamata Taishikuten Daikyo Temple is probably more well-known as the home town of Tora-san, the much-loved central character of the long-running television series, “It’s tough being a man” And many come to have their photo taken beside the giant bronze statue of him in the middle of an open courtyard, just outside the train station.  I know nothing about the tv series, but the temple and the park are definitely worth the visit. The wooden bas-relief sculpture covering the […]

The Devil in the Details

“Soft” is a word I’ve heard Emiko use often to describe anything from textiles, to gestures, to landscape. After 5 months of pushing the screens of the exercise machines at the gym to my endless frustration – I now realize that,  gently and specifically  is how they must be touched. Indeed, almost a fingernail flick to a very tiny sweet spot, does the trick. With things, I am used to prodding, poking, pulling and pushing – hard and harder when something doesn’t respond. That does not work here. Yet, there is an underlying violence – that potential thrust of volcano, […]

Exceptional, out of my ordinary

This post is a kind of visual listing of things that I found extremely unfortunate and extremely fortunate in my travels here. The first is more just something unusual. It is rare to see garbage on the street. People just don’t seem to litter. So it was both beautiful and odd to see a single empty pop can in the middle of a stairway. Something I have found extremely disturbing is the multi-layering of the highways. Almost all of the rivers and there are many in Tokyo in the downtown core are smothered over with a highway. All riversides are […]

Style and Fashion

When it comes to clothes, there is definitely a creative flair in Tokyo  and men are not afraid to play the game. Very refreshing. Colour, lots of patterns and a sense of personal style seem quite evident. Here are some things I’ve been able to catch on the street. Here are some great textile and fashion designs I photographed at a student exhibition at the Spiral Gallery in Omote-Sando. Some storefront windows in Tokyo.


In one word- delicious.  Eating is so easy in Japan. There is good food everywhere. Even the food at the cornerstore is surprisingly good. Some of my best lunches have been salads grabbed on the run for 298 yen ( about 3$).   There are lots of kelp and seaweed included in salads and hot dishes as well -very tasty and nutritious. Hot sweet potatoes are available in many places – the odour is distinctive. When French is used in public signs, it is usually to indicate a restaurant or a bakery or surprisingly a hair salon! I rarely see people […]

The Earth Moved, (while I was sleeping)

When I first arrived in Tokyo, I was experiencing bouts of mild vertigo, which I now attribute to anxiety. Anxiety about not understanding and not being understood, fear of the unknown, whatever. Around the time leading up to and after my exhibition, I would lie in my bed exhausted, excited, yet unable to sleep. I swore the bed was moving under me, but I checked the Earthquake site for Japan the next morning and there had been no activity recorded for the Tokyo area. My senses were hyperactive, feeling my own blood throb inside. I only had to lie there […]


One of the bonuses of sitting my show, other than meeting new people and getting a chance to see people that I have already met once more is to practice my Japanese. I feel like I have learned more in a few afternoons at the gallery than going to class. Just hanging out at Tokyo Studio, there is always something going on and someone ready to engage however we can -like Yoichiro-san feeding his bird-friends or Shinesuke arriving on his motorcycle. I’ll continue to add photos of daily activities at the gallery. Next week, Sekine-san will bring a group from […]

紙のことば Paper Words

The show is up! The suzuri, or the inking stone as it is known in English is the work that draws the most attention. It is made of paper – kozo fibre covering a structure sculpted from styrofoam. The surface of the paper has a thin covering of beeswax to protect it from the sumi (ink) that fills the bowl. One of the things I had not foreseen while planning this work is the strong odour of the sumi (ink) and everyone in Japan has some memory of that odour deep inside them from calligraphy practice at school. I love […]