I do not believe that people become artists by profession because every living human being is born an artist who wishes to express something. It seems to me that art neither exists remotely in peopleﾕs lives nor is difficult to express for anyone. The reason for this belief is that I feel whatever mankind has created is one form of art or other. As long as humans go on living they never fail to produce something. The breakfast a mother cooked this morning and the greetings we exchanged with our friends are nothing but the means of expressing ourselves to continue our existence as human beings. An art object in a museum is not everything. I think art naturally comes into existence in the course of our lives. Therefore, it appears to me that art is not something we intentionally seek to express. Being a product of our natural lives, art needs to be given a natural expression.
My works are the end products of my everyday activity and the time I devote to them. Therefore, I use material for my work that is available everywhere. I have no need for specially made brushes and paints of limited production. I can create with things that come everyone's way. I believe that what finally takes shape from the accumulation of things I use in my everyday life is living proof to my existence.
"bunshin" (other self)
I do not like using the word "sakuhin" to refer to my work. I feel that my work is not a manufactured article as the word ﾒsakuhinﾓ literally means in Japanese. "Sakuhin" seems to be something that is more genuine and spontaneous. Impressed and influenced by things around them, human beings must have acquired the means to express themselves. One's every expression is transformed into a form of art. In other words, I feel "bunshin" which means other self of the painter, is a more fitting word than "sakuhin," which translates into a work of the painter, since the real meaning of the latter should be an expression of oneself.
Now let me talk about my "bunshin." What I am now is an accumulation of the life I have lived. . I was born in Japan and raised in the Japanese cultural environment. This has got me where I am now, and so an accumulation of my everyday activities forms what I call my "sakuhin." The key to producing a good work is to engage myself in that pursuit everyday. Some may think it is extremely difficult, but really it is not because humans continue to have the desire for self-expression, even in our ordinary lives. It may be that we cannot stop doing so. Various memories of all we have done will come back to us when we happen to look back on our past deeds and the path we have followed. I think these are "bunshins" or what we in Japan call true works of our own. Of course, I do not mean they are great works of literature or art. They should exist in our everyday lives.
For example, suppose that we have the custom of reading books diligently. There are books we read simply because they interest us or because we just want to kill time, and so we read without any specific purpose or intention. When our bookshelf becomes full some years later, there are times when we are impressed with ourselves, realizing, "How would it ever have been possible for us to read so many books?!" Reading books may not be an act worthy of special mention, but when accumulated, it gives us a lot of surprises.
In fact, it is not so easy to organize books. No matter how troublesome it is, perhaps none of us will feel tempted to discontinue buying or reading books. On the contrary, we will continue with our reading habit. If it is a work born from one's life, that "sakuhin" will never come to an end. One will continue working on it despite occasional setbacks or failures. The result is the creation of a work that is better described as "bunshin," whose great presence will be realized later despite small individual acts that constitute the whole. I think I will continue producing my "bunshin" just as I continue reading books. It is my work that will remain unfinished until the end of my life.