Satsuki Shibuya

S A T S U K I  S H I B U Y A  is an artist and spiritual thinker, living and working in Los Angeles, California. Her work is based on intuition, energy, and spirit, exploring the realms of the unknown and bridging the gap between the tangible and the unseen. Through watercolor, visualizations of universal metaphysics appear with a focus on themes such as nature, energy, and aspects of everyday life. Each piece takes us on a unique and personal journey into our own soul in hopes that we emerge — not only inspired to cultivate peace and harmony — but also with an enlightened appreciation for this world we all share.






(Photo: Women With Superpowers / Tasya Van Ree + Nitsa Citrine)


S O L O  E X H I B I T I O N S

Moments, Show + Tell, Los Angeles, California, 2016

Tête-À-Tête, Salad Bowl, Tokyo, Japan, 2016

Flow, Poketo, Los Angeles, California, 2015

Into The Light, Do Design, Madrid, Spain, 2015


G R O U P  E X H I B I T I O N S

Palette, Ampersand International Arts, San Francisco, California, 2016

Kisaragi No Isidis, Edane, Osaka, Japan, 2016

Spatially Speaking, PlatformCulver City, California, 2016

fresh stART, Santa Monica, California, 2016

Soul of Asia, Asia Art Network, KEPCO Art Center Gallery, Seoul, Korea, 2015 

Next Generation Art Party, UNICEF, Venice, California, 2015-2018

Soho House x Tappan Collective, Soho HouseWest Hollywood, California, 2015

Good Mail Day, Artstream Studios Gallery, Dover, New Hampshire, 2014

Floral Edition 003, Collectif Blanc, Montréal, Canada, 2014

The Summer Print Shop, Book Stand, FvF Apartment, Berlin, Germany, 2014


Urban Outfitters / Space 15 Twenty, Moment Marketplace, live painting + installation, Hollywood, California, 2017

Modern Citizen, ROW DTLA, Los Angeles, California, 2016

The Line Hotel, Los Angeles, California, 2016


OTIS College of Art and Design, Foundation Forward Alumni Panel, Los Angeles, California, February 2018

Satsuki Shibuya x Parachute Hotel, Authentic Branding Workshop, Venice, California, September 2017

Show + Tell, In the Moment — Developing your Intuition for Work and Life, Los Angeles, California, November 2016

POKETOExplorations in Watercolor Workshop, Los Angeles, California, September 2015,  April + October 2016, April 2017

OTIS College of Art and Design, Guest Lecturer, Los Angeles, California, 2015-2017

POKETO, Branding 101 Workshop, Los Angeles, California, September 2013

TYPO International Design Talks, CONTRAST, San Francisco, California, April 2013


Moment, Paintings + Poetry book, December 2016

The Girl Who Knows, "Words & Watercolors", July — November 2016



S E L E C T  P U B L I C A T I O N S

Marker's Magazine, "Inside, Outside, And In Between Home", interview, p88-95, Issue 5: Home, 2018

Water Journal, "Satsuki Shibuya Transcending Through Watercolor", interview, p110-117, 4°, 2018

Spirituality & Health Magazine, "The Uncanny Practice of Entrainment", artwork, p38, March/April 2017

Bossladies, "Satsuki Shibuya", interview + quote, Issue 01: Los Angeles, 2016

Heim Magazine, artist interview + artwork, Vol 1, 2016 (Russian)

Cereal Magazine, "Another World — In the heart of Cascadia", commissioned artwork, p100-105, Vol 11, 2016

Obscura Magazine, "Embracing the Moment", cover + interview, vol 18, Spring/Summer 2015 (English + Chinese)

Yen Magazine, "Guest Artist", masthead + interview, p6, p16-17, Issue 77, The Photo Issue, 2015

Perdiz Magazine, "Editor's Note", commissioned artwork, p3, Issue 5, La Felicidad Es Contagiosa, 2015 (English + Spanish)

Mill Magazine, "Sweets", artwork, p19-20, Issue 00, Summer 2015 (Japanese)

Kinfolk Magazine, "Kinfolk Gatherings", pg 140, Issue 15, 2015


S E L E C T  I N T E R V I E W S

Golubka Kitchen, "Self-Care Interview Series: Satsuki Shibuya", interview, December 2017

Little Paper Planes, "Watercolor Art Kit", interview, December 2017

Hobes, "Hobes Girls — Satsuki Shibuya, Artist", interview, June 2017

Space 15 Twenty / Urban Outfitters, "Interviews: Satsuki Shibuya", interview, January 2017

The Elysian Edit, "Elysian Exchange: Satsuki Shibuya", film, December 2016

Blog Milk, "30 Days to Minimal Blogging", digital book interview, December 2016

Vrai & Oro, "V&O Interviews: Satsuki Shibuya, painter + creative thinker", interview, November 2016

Faculty, "Conversations: Satsuki Shibuya", interview, September 2016

Tappan Collective, "Satsuki Shibuya | An Interview", interview, September 2016

The Girl Who Knows, "Get To Know", interview, August 2016

Freelance Wisdom, "Satsuki Shibuya", interview, June 2016

Urban Outfitters, "UO interviews: Satsuki Shibuya", interview, February 2016

Well/Aware, "Expressing Your Truest Self With Artist Satsuki Shibuya", podcast interview, December 2015

Cultural Weekly, "All Things Are Impermanent With Satsuki Shibuya", interview, September 2015

Poketo, "In Conversation: Finding Zen In The City With Satsuki Shibuya", interview, September 2015

The Dreslyn, "In The Process: Watercolor in Motion with Satsuki Shibuya", film, August 2015

The Dreslyn, "Peace of Mind: Painter Satsuki Shibuya", interview, August 2015

Ashley Neese, "Inspiring Women: Satsuki Shibuya", interview, August 2015

Do Design, "Entrevistamos a la artista Satsuki Shibuya", interview, June 2015 (Español)

Running On Om, "Satsuki Shibuya on Fusing the Spiritual and the Artistic in Everyday Life", podcast interview, February 2015

West Elm, "Talking Spaces with Satsuki Shibuya", interview, May 2013

Steven Alan, "At Home With Satsuki Shibuya", interview, April 2013

TYPO International Design Talks, "Contrast Conversations with Satsuki Shibuya", interview, February 2013


S E L E C T  A R T I C L E S

Darling Magazine, "7 Emerging Female Artists to Watch", March 2016

HITSPAPER™, "Tête-À-Tête Exhibition introduction", March 2016 (Japanese)

IDOL Magazine, "Introducing: Satsuki Shibuya", January 2015

Obscura Magazine, "Watercolor Paintings by Satsuki Shibuya", December 2014

Actitudes Magazine, "Satsuki Shibuya Y Sus Acuarelas", December 2014 (Español)

Art Hound, "Artist Crush: Satsuki Shibuya", September 2014

Spoon & Tamago, "Gentle and Minimal Watercolor Prints by Satsuki Shibuya", September 2014

HITSPAPER™, "Weekly Inspiration", September 2014 (Japanese)

OBSCURA MAGAZINEspring / summer 2015

words jonathan poh


Springtime in Vancouver is a procession of natural wonders. As the snowpack begins its slow retreat up the North Shore mountains, tulips break through the ground, forrest creatures begin to stir and wild berries ripen in the thickets. The grass — not yet charred by summer sunshine — is greener and fresher than it will ever be, and the air is weighted with anticipation.

But my favorite part of spring, by far, is the cherry blossom, with its clouds of blush-pink petals that remind me of cotton candy. On the street of the house I now occupy with my wife and American cocker spaniel, the season's first sakura have already come and gone, the evidence of their short-lived splendor visible only in photographs on Instagram or Facebook.

And yet, we continue to celebrate them, just as they are, recognizing in their transience — in their annual blooming and withering — something perfect, something precious, something universal. The acceptance of life's impermanence and our own flaws, after all, makes us whole; it bequeaths immeasurable value to our brief time on this planet and there is beauty to be found in embracing the natural order of things.

I hadn't thought of the subject of imperfection — either in nature of in people — for some time until my recent exchange with Satsuki Shibuya, the Japanese-American painter, artist and spiritual thinker who lives and works in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. In recent years, Shibuya has devoted herself to the art of ethereal watercolor paintings — abstract symphonies of muted, monochromatic shades driven by an elusive mix of "intuition, energy and spirit." They focus on themes such as the natural world, energies and the aspects of everyday life, and visualize lofty concepts like "universal metaphysics" while also imparting a joyful appreciation of the mundane.

The artists's "Gaia" series, in particular, is characteristic of her otherworldly style. Distinguished by minimalist brushstrokes and a restrained use of color, each painting resembles a transfer of energy, or the physical imprint left by something ephemeral that — just for an instant — became visible before fading again from view. There are the frothy splashes of blue that make up "Seaspirit," the bird-like shapes and opaque clouds of "cumulonimbus" and the embryo-like form that comprises "Gift of Life." Equally evident throughout her work is a delicate, transient quality that perfectly embodies the essence of wabi sabi, the Japanese tradition that finds beauty in things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

Shibuya's watercolor aesthetic is so effortless and fully-formed, in fact, that it's hard to believe she only took up painting a few years back. Instead, her introduction to the arts took place at the potter's wheel, at an age when most children are still learning to color between the lines. "My earliest experience with art was my mother enrolling me in a ceramics class around the age of 6 as a way to explore my creativity," she tells me. "And because I loved it, by the time I was eight or so, I ended up taking classes with adults and creating pieces to sell at local ceramic markets."

The joy of making and then selling her handiwork proved addictive, and following her studies in music at the University of Southern California and graphic design at Otis College of Art and Design, Shibuya embarked upon a career as a singer/songwriter before returning to the world of product design in 2010. Partially out of necessity, but mostly due to a desire to express herself, she began designing and handcrafting everything from small art objects to printed cushion covers from her airy, well-kit home studio in California. "The fear of not expressing myself for who I am outweighed any thoughts of doing something else," she explains of her decision to become a full-time creative." As I explain to people who ask me why I do what I do, to me, it is as part of me as I am a woman or Japanese American. It is just who I am."

Shibuya's Midas touch also extended to the art of visual curation. While looking at ways to furnish their new home, she launched her first Pinterest board, 'Nouvelle Maison,' as an exercise in cataloguing and sharing interior decor ideas with her husband. The impeccably edited image board would go on to attract several hundred thousand followers — many of them seemingly overnight — and has since amassed a massive audience of nearly one million "Pinners."

Still, it's Shibuya's start in watercolor painting that I find most intriguing, as well as her long-standing bout with illness and the momentous spiritual experience that first prompted her to put brush to canvas. And so, I ask her if we can start at the beginning, with the first inkling that she needed to paint.

One day, I received a message from the universe to paint. I didn't know why, I didn't know how, but it just told me that I needed to — that it would change my life. But to expand a bit of this, my main purpose of painting is, in my own way, to be a catalyst for world peace, harmony and unconditional love in hopes of awakening the hearts and souls of others, and getting them to remember their life purpose.

After hearing the message of needing to paint, I began experimenting with different mediums to see if this message was, in fact, real. It was fun trying out different mediums, but nothing was clicking inside until one day I decided to try watercolors and BAM! It was as if I were hit by lightning! I never could quite explain the feeling I got that day, but I do remember feeling a sense of excitement — blood rushing, peace, serenity, all in that one moment. I've equated it to the feeling of falling in love for the first time. It's not quite the same, but it's the closest analogy that I could come up with. It felt like the watercolor was speaking to me, that it was sharing with me its beauty, its thoughts and that it could do no wrong. It was breathtaking and even to this day, I'm in awe of what it shares with me.

It's not entirely surprising then, that the most commonly used adjectives for Shibuya's painting — otherworldly, ethereal, abstract — evince the almost mystical origins of her craft. The artist's unmistakable style, when I ask her about it, has a similarly inevitable quality to it, as if each brushstroke was simply bestowed upon her by a higher power.

I wish I could share more concrete answer for how my aesthetic came about, but it truly just happened. One day, there was an urge to paint what I was feeling energetically inside versus trying to paint something concrete — like an apple — and this 'style' emerged. As I mentioned to you, I feel like I'm just the puppet, that something else is fueling this energy to paint and I"m just there witnessing it happen on paper. Sometimes I feel like it's me, but more often than not, it feels like things are just 'happening.' To me, it truly is a simple but spiritual process.

And yet, Shibuya never comes across as aloof or fanciful, with her head in the clouds, in the way some are. In reality, she's remarkably grounded and cognizant of the work of creatives around her, citing modern day visionaries like COMME des GARÇONS mastermind Rei Kawakubo as influences, along with the pared-down aesthetic tradition of her Japanese heritage.

I tend to be influenced more by the thoughts and concepts of others versus what they actually create. For example, I am inspired by artist Yayoi Kusama and how through her art, she is able to work through her own mental struggles, or Rei Kawakubo of COMME des GARÇONS and her approach towards design. Although I've never consciously thought of including such influences into my art, many have shared that they feel there is a Japanese-Scandinavian influence in how my work aesthetically looks and my approach to it. Perhaps this is subconscious, as I feel a deep connection with both cultures.

The fact that Shibuya seems so connected and so self-assured, so in tune with the workings of the universe and her place within it, is something of a wonder in itself. The daughter of a French chef father and adventure-loving mother, Shibuya was born in May — her name, Satsuki, means "five moons" in Japanese and is also, incidentally, the name of a flower that blooms in the same month — and was raised amongst the sunbathed, tree-lined foothills of Los Angeles.

But her idyllic surroundings masked a growing sense of displacement, and for years Shibuya struggled with poor health and anxiety. I ask if she's willing to recount those hardships, as well as the physical and emotional effects they had on her growing up. The story Shibuya shares, I later discover, is as compelling and inspiring as any one of her paintings.

Ever since I was young, I've felt 'different.' I've never quite felt like I belonged, and many times I would be told by other people that I was 'beyond my age.' I have referred to the term 'lone wolf' sometimes, but it was as if I could never quite be myself and had to revert to being a character in order to fit in. I was bullied and a loner when trying to be truly who I was on the inside. Whether it is when we are younger or even when we're adults, I feel that it is difficult being who we truly are. Those who are 'different' tend to be alienated by others. If you don't say and do the things others deem as 'normal,' you are marked and treated differently. Ever since I was younger and through my twenties, this was something that I struggled with tremendously. I believe it was also the source of my illness.

When one holds back, detains and represses one's true self, it creates pressure, tension and tremendous stress on the body, which in turn begins to break down the actual processes that the body goes through when trying to heal. When I was younger, I traded being 'myself' with a character that would 'fit in.' As such, I created an unhealthy internal environment that broke down the actual mechanisms of my physical body. Without realizing it, I chose to sacrifice my own well-being to allow others to feel safe around me. I chose to become sick in order to fulfill the views that others had of me. But as a child, how would one be able to understand all this, let alone explain it to someone? Being where I am now, I'm finally able to express my true self and to explain what was happening then. Truly grateful.

Anxiety was certainly the toughest inner struggle to confront. Illness, at least at that time, was something that was physical, and with some medical help — although I now realize it was just putting a band-aid on the situation — I could start to recover. Anxiety, because it was something internal, was very difficult to even understand.

Even after being diagnosed, questions swirled around Shibuya's mysterious ailment. Both doctors and psychologists alike were unable to concoct a suitable explanation for her anxiety, speculating that it was simply a medical issue and prescribing an endless rotation of pills. Things had hit rock bottom, or somewhere close to it. That is, until Shibuya started seeing a psychologist who threw conventional wisdom out of the window.

I was sent to different psychologist because traditional medical doctors couldn't find the problem. But these psychologists couldn't understand what was causing my anxiety either. Instead, they would just tell me that I needed to take a pill. I refused to take such medication because something inside me told me that there wasn't really anything wrong, that there was something else going on.

I'm not sure if it was a confrontation, but the moment when I heard from the last psychologist I saw that he knew nothing was wrong with me — that it was a spiritual disconnect causing my issues. Something inside me knew that this was the answer I had been looking for, and that's when I was able to embrace the parts of me that I had been avoiding. 

The road to recovery, I find out, has been arduous, but ultimately rewarding. Shibuya's priorities and perspective have changed since confronting the things that plagued her since childhood, and becoming a painter and spiritual thinker has been an exercise in finding wholeness and embracing imperfection. On the Internet, you can see evidence of her transformation; in photos, she smiles, surrounded by her work and bathed in the Californian sunlight that streams through her studio windows. She looks genuinely happy and there is little, if any, trace of her past.

It has definitely been a gradual process. First it was coming to terms with the fact that I had been avoiding and ignoring a part of myself that had been rejected by everyone around me, but was the key component in becoming holistically well again. Then, after the connection was made - to figure out what it was that I had been trying to figure out what it was that I had been trying to figure out all this time - it was coming to terms with the feeling of being ' different.' From there, it was one step after another, one thing leading to another. Reading books, meditating, meeting people, messages from the universe and finally coming out and sharing with others the things that I had been experiencing internally — the connections that I had been sensing all this time since I was young, but wasn't able to freely talk about. Once I was able to share with others openly, my health truly started to heal exponentially.

Ultimately, I learned to love myself for who I am and where I am currently, no matter what anyone else might say. I learned not to give power to others to define what I should be thinking of doing. To trust my internal compass, my soul, to lead the way. To know that I was made the way I was for a reason, and that any imperfections are there for a reason.

While on the subject of imperfections — and the dangers of trying to disguise them — I take the chance to ask Shibuya about her work and the way it has been affected by her personal journey towards wholeness, and if what she's learned has intrinsically changed her thoughts on perfection in the context of her art.

Through watercolor painting, I've learned that there is no such thing as imperfection of perfection. Whether it is people, nature, life or my own work. The closest I get to this thought is looking at my work and seeing if I feel connected to it or not, and depending on this, deciding whether to release it publicly. But then again, I've also learned that even though I might not connect with it aesthetically or in some other way, if there is another who appreciates it or desires to have it be a part of their life, then it's the 'perfect' piece for them. Another lesson I've learned is to stay open and allow for any and all types of creativity to flow through, and to share each with love.

I believe all types of art is perfection in the sense that it is perfectly sharing the soul of the creator. Actually, all things are perfect as they are, whether or not another might think them imperfect. The concept of imperfection in itself, I believe, is a man-made belief, whereas if you were to look at things from a different perspective, there is no such thing as perfect or imperfect. It is just as it is.

Curious, I ask her about the way she evaluates a painting and if, given her philosophy, there is ever a sense of completion or finality to her work. The pursuit of perfection, after all, remains the lifeblood of a great many artists, despite evidence that suggests it's as destructive to the creative process as it is inspiring. Amused, Shibuya replies, "I get a feeling. Or I get hungry and I must stop and eat."

As our conversation draws to an end, we finish by discussing her worldview and why the things we've talked about have real-world implications, and aren't simply unattainable ideals to be applauded, but ultimately ignored.

Some could feel that I'm being an idealist if they were to hear my spiritual thoughts, but I think anything is possible. There's a quotation that I love by John Updike: "Dreams come true; without that possibility, nature would not incite us to have them." So to some, my thoughts may sound like a dream and not reality, but in truth, I believe that it is within all of us to create a world of peace, of respect for one another. I think that by embracing what is in front of us, by embracing the moment, we are actually striving for this "ideal" world, By tapping into the way things are, we are accepting the natural flow of life and by being a part of this flow, it begins to unravel the truth of how things truly are.

After the interview, I mull over Satsuki Shibuya's story for a moment and consider my own childhood battles. I survey a life similarly spent in the hyphen (in my case, as a Chinese Canadian who grew up feeling neither very Chinese nor very Canadian) and under the magnifying glass of a small, primarily Caucasian suburban town. As a shy, bookish kid, there was always something to prove — to bullies, teachers, my parents — and I have often wondered what it would have been like to live as someone else, someplace different, at another time. A life that was somehow more perfect.

But, thinking back on our conversation, it occurs to me that there is a lesson to be learned from Shibuya's approach to art, nature and people — the way she's learned to embrace things as they "truly are," and as part of a much bigger whole.

In the natural world, it strikes me, we are compelled to reserve criticism. We do not devalue the cherry blossom for its fleeting lifespan, nor do we condemn rainy days, blustering winds or uneven rock faces. We cannot add even an ounce of value to these wonders, nor can we subtract from them. Instead, we learn to accept our universe — celebrate it even — because it is mysterious and sublime, because it is wonderfully made, and what it is makes us who we are. If we could only apply the same objectivity — the same unbiased eye — to our fellow human beings, we'd create a vastly different world, one without feelings of displacement or anxiety.

Suddenly, I am reminded of the ancient African word, ubuntu — the Nguni Bantu term that roughly translates "human kindness" or more specifically, "I am what I am because of who we all are" — and something Shibuya told me at one point during our exchange.

I feel that as a whole, we are one. 'We' meaning all things that exist in this universe and therefore, all that we do, all that we believe, affects and integrates with everything. I once listened to a talk by philosopher Alan Watts about how the universe is within, that we are made of the same particles as the stars above. The expression of us having answers to our own questions comes from this concept, I believe. If we truly could understand that we are here, together, as one, then I believe there would be no man-made destruction, hurt, hate, war, murder, depletion of environmental resources, the need to be on top in the expense of another, the need to boast, the need to be better than another, judgement... the list goes on forever. If we truly believe that we all come from one source, that we are interconnected, it would also naturally occur to us that doing something harmful and hurtful to another is, in fact, hurting ourselves.

Hong Kong, Spring/Summer 2015



<POH> バンクーバーの春は自然の驚異が行列を成して進む。雪塊(積雪)が溶けて北部沿岸の山々に緩やかに後退し始めると、チューリップが地面を破って現れ、森の生き物たちが目ざめて活動をはじめ、野生のキイチゴが密生した茂みの中で塾し始める。まだ夏の強い日差しに焦がされない植物は、これまでにないほどいっそう緑あざやかに、いっそう爽やかになり、空気が期待いっぱいに膨らむ。




私は、渋谷さつきとの最近の邂逅まで自然界や人間について、不完全というテーマのことを深く考えたことがなかった。彼女はカリフォルニアのランチョ・パロス・ヴァーデス市に住み創作活動をする日系アメリカ人画家で、芸術家であり霊的瞑想家である。近年、渋谷は非常に優美な水彩画の創作に取り組んできた。その美しさは、“直感力、活力と生命力”に満ちた捉えどころのない融合配色と単彩の陰影で描かれた、まるで音のない抽象交響曲のようである。彼女の作品 は、 自然界、活力、日常生活の諸相に焦点を合わせており、現世に喜びの感謝を表しつつ“宇宙万物の形而上学”のような高尚な概念を表現している。



手工芸品を作り、そしてそれを売る喜びは病みつきになっていました。 南カリフォルニア大学 (University of Southern California) における音楽の勉強、オーティス造形芸術大学 (Otis College of Art and Design) におけるグラフィックデザインの勉強に続いて、渋谷は2010年に製品デザインの世界に戻る前にシンガー・ソングライターとしてのキャリアに着手していた。(このキャリアは)部分的に必要性から抜け出ているが、ほとんどは彼女が自分自身を表現する欲求であって、カリフォルニアの風通しのよい明るいホームスタジオから、小さなアート作品からプリント柄のクッションカバーまであらゆる物をデザイし手作りをはじめた。「自分自身を表現できないという恐れは、他のことをしようという考えをはるかに上回っていました」と、彼女がフルタイムで創造的な活動をするようになった自身の意思決定を説明する。「私は自分に言い聞かせるように、私がしていることを何故私がしているのかを訊ねる人々に対して、それは私が一人の女性であり、あるいは日系アメリカ人であるのと同じように私の一部なのです、と説明します。それがまさに私であることなのです」と。

渋谷のミダス・タッチ(ギリシャ神話:触ったもの全てを黄金に変える能力のこと)な画法はまた ビジュアルキュレーション(視覚画像の総合監修)の芸術にも広がっている。新しい家の家具の備え付けを模索している間に、カタログや室内装飾のアイデアを夫と共有する練習用として、彼女の最初のピンタレスト・ボード(趣味等のテーマ別画像コレクション・ボード)“ヌーベル・メイソン”(Nouvelle Maison)に着手した。非の打ちどころなく編集されたイメージ画像ボードは、数十万のフォロワー(ファン、サポーター) を魅了しつづけ、そして、フォロワーの多くは見たところ一晩のうちにフォローし、それ以来ずっと百万近い大量のピンナー(ネット上の画像を取り込む人)を集客した。


<渋谷> ある日、私は絵を描くことのメッセージを宇宙から受け取りました。なぜか判らななかったし、どうしてかも判りませんでしたが、メッセージは 私がそうする必要があると告げていました。それが私の人生を変えることになるなんて。しかし、このことを拡大解釈するならば、私が絵を描く主要な目的は、自分独自の方法で、世界平和、調和、他の人々の心と魂を目覚めさせる希望の中の無条件の愛、そして、人々に彼ら自身の人生の目的を思い出させる、一つの触媒であることです。


POH> それから渋谷の絵画に最も一般的に使われる、彼女の工芸品のほとんど神秘的な原点を明示する形容詞、すなわち「別世界の」、「この世のものとは思えない」、「抽象的な」はまったく驚くべきことではない。私がそれについて渋谷に尋ねると、芸術家の間違えようのないスタイル(技法)は、それぞれの筆運びがあたかもより高度な力によって彼女に単純に授けられたかのように免れ得ない素質を持っているのです、と答えている。

<渋谷> 私は私の美観がどのように生じたか、もっと確かな答を周囲と共有することができたらと思っているのですが、それは事実の通りまさに偶然に起こりました。ある日、リンゴのような実態のある何かを描きたいと思っていたのに対し、体の内側に精力的に絵を描く衝動が起こりました。そして、この“スタイル”が浮かび上がりました。すでに貴方にお話したように、私は、何か他のものが絵を描くためにエネルギーを注ぎ、私は紙の上で起こっていることを目撃するためにそこにいるような、まるで操り人形のように感じます。 時々それは私であるように感じますが、そうでないかもしれないけれど、それはまさに物事が“起こっている”ように感じるのです。私にとってそれは本当にシンプルなのですが、スピリチュアルなプロセスなのです。

POH> それにもかかわらず、渋谷は雲の中に頭があるような、超然としたり、非現実的な印象を与えるところがない。一部の人々はそうであるのに。実際に、渋谷は驚くほど地に足がついていて、影響としてはコム    ギャルコンの立案者・川久保玲(ファッション・デザイナー)のような現代の先見の明を引用しながら、彼女の日本遺産を軽装にした美的伝統と連動して、渋谷をとり巻くクリエイティブな仕事というものをよく認識している。

<渋谷> 私は、他人が実際に何を創造しているかに対し、他人の考えやコンセプトにもっと影響を受ける傾向があります。例えば、私は芸術家の草間彌生(前衛芸術家)と彼女がどのように今の芸術の域に至ったか、即ち、草間が自身の精神的な闘争(葛藤)を通して創作活動ができていることに、あるいはコム    ギャルコンの川久保玲と彼女のデザインへの取り組み方に触発されています。私は、私の芸術の中に意識的にそのような影響を含めて考えたことはありませんが、私の作品の多くが、私の創作を美的見地からどう見るか、そして創作の取り組み方の中に、彼らが日本北欧の影響が存在していると感じていることを共有しています。たぶん、これは私が二つの文化と深い繋がりを感じているように、潜在意識なのだと思います。

POH 渋谷が霊的に深く繋がり、とても自信に満ち、宇宙の摂理とよく調和し、彼女の居場所がその中にあるように見える事実は、それ自体何か驚くべきことだ。フレンチシェフの父と好奇心旺盛な母の娘である渋谷は5月に生まれた。彼女の名前“さつき”は、日本語で“五つの月“を意味する。ついでに言えば同じ月に咲く花の名前でもある。そして、陽光が溢れ木々の並木に囲まれた、ロサンゼルスのフット・ヒルで育った。

しかし、彼女の周囲ののどかな環境が絵画創作の置き換えの才能の成長を覆い隠し、そして、渋谷は数年間、病弱と不安と闘った。 私は、もし彼女がそれらの苦難について、彼女の成長について、それらの苦難がもたらした物理的及び情緒的な影響について、詳しく話す意思があるかどうかを聞いている。渋谷が共有してくれる物語は、私が後に発見するのだが、彼女の作品のどの一つとも同じに魅了してやまず心を突き動かす。

<渋谷> 私は幼い頃からずっと「違う」と感じてきました。私が何かに属していたように感じたことは決してなく、そして何度も、私は他の人々から「私の年齢を超えている」と言われた気がしていました。私は時々「一匹狼」という用語で呼ばれていましたが、それはまるで私自身でいることができないようだったし、周囲に適応するために誰かを演じているようでした。私は自分の内面で真の自分になろうとしている時、苛められ孤立していました。私たちは若い時だろうと大人の時だろうと、ほんとうの自分でいることは、私は難しいと感じます。“違う”人達は他人から仲間外れにされる傾向があります。もし人が何も言わず、他の人が“正常”とみなしている物事を行うと、人はマークを付けられ違う扱いを受けます。幼いとき以来ずっと、そして二十代を通して、これは私が途方もなくもがき苦しんだことでした。私はそれが私の病気の原因だった思っています。



POH> 診断の後でさえずっと、渋谷の神秘的な慢性疾患の周囲で疑問が渦巻いていた。医師も精神科医達も一様に、それが単に医学的な問題だったと推測し、いつ終わるとも知れない薬のローテーションを処方をすることなのに、彼女の不安に適切な説明を導き出すことができなかった。 事態は座礁したか(最悪の事態か)あるいはどこか近い状態に居た。 即ち、渋谷が従来型の医学知識を窓から投げすてた精神科医に行き始めるまでは。

<渋谷> 私は違う精神科医達へ回されました。なぜなら従来型の医師達は問題(病気の原因)を見つけられなかったからです。しかし、これらの精神科医達もまた何が私の不安の原因なのかを理解できませんでした。代わりに、医師達は私に薬を呑む必要があると言うばかりでした。私はこのような薬物を飲むことを拒否しました。なぜなら私の中の何かが本当に悪いところは何もないと私に告げていて、そして、進行中の何か他の理由があると気づいていたからです。


POH> 私が見い出す回復の道のりは苦しいものだったが最終的には報われた。渋谷の優先順位と視点は、幼年時代からずっと彼女を苦しめた物事に直面して以来変化してきた。そして画家、霊的瞑想家になることが、全体性を発見し不完全性を受け入れる際に訓練となってきたのだ。インターネット上で、彼女が精神的な変容を遂げた証拠を見ることができる。写真の中で彼女は微笑み、作品に囲まれ、彼女のスタジオの窓を通してカリフォルニアの陽光を浴びている。彼女は真に幸せそうに見え、彼女の過去の痕跡は、もしあるとしても、ほとんど見あたらない。

<渋谷> それは疑いなく緩やかなプロセスでした。はじめに、それはこれまで私が周囲のすべての人によって拒否された自分自身の一部分を避けたり、無視していた事実とともに言葉にやってきました。しかし、それは再び相対的に良くなっていくための鍵となる要素だったのです。それから、私は、その(原因不明の病気に悩まされ続けた)全ての時間が何だったのかを理解しようとずっと試みてきて、それが何だったかをさらに理解するために、霊的な接続を行なった後、それは異なっている感覚と体が一体となって自分で納得しました。そこから、それ(その感覚)は次から次へと続く一歩となり、一つの事柄が別の事柄へ導くキッカケになりました。本を読み、瞑想し、人々と会い、宇宙からのメッセージを受け取り、そして最終的に外へ出て、私が内面で経験してきた事(私は幼い頃から全ての時間で宇宙とつながりを感知してきたが自由に話すことができなかった)を他の人々と共有し、ひとたび私が他の人々とオープンに共有することができると、私の健康状態は真に飛躍的に治癒しはじめました。

最終的に私は、他人が何を言おうと、私が誰で現在私はどこにいるかを確認するために、自分自身を愛することを学びました。私は、私が何を考えるべきか何をするべきかを定義する力を他人に与えないことを学びました。私の内面の羅針盤を信じ、私の魂を信じ、自分の人生を導くために。 私には私なりの理由があって道が作られており、そして、どんな不完全も理由があってそこに存在しているのだと知るために。

POH> 不完全性を話の題材にしながら、そしてそれらは隠そうとする危険性があるテーマなのだが、私は、彼女の創作活動と全てが繋がっている全体性に向かって個人的な旅の影響を受け続けてきた彼女の歩みについて、そして、彼女が学んできたことが、彼女の芸術の文脈の中で、完全性について本質的に考えを変えたのかどうかを渋谷に尋ねるチャンスを手にする。

<渋谷> 水彩画を通して、私は、不完全あるいは完全というようなものが存在しないことを学びました。それが人々であろうと、自然であろうと、命であろうと、あるいは自分自身の芸術活動であろうと。私が獲得したこの考えに最も近いものは、自分の仕事に目を向けること、そして、私がそれに繋がっていると感じるかどうかを見ること、そして、それを頼りに、作品を公に公表するかどうかを決めることです。しかし、その後再び、私は、たとえ私がそれに美的に、あるいはその他の方法で繋がっていないかもしれないとしても、もし、それ(作品)を正しく評価する、あるいは人生の一部になるようにそれを持つことを強く望む別の人がいれば、その時それは彼らにとって完全な一つの作品なのだ、ということを学びました。 私が学んだもう一つの教訓は、オープンマインドを保ち、自分の中を流れる、どんな、そしてすべての想像力を許容し、愛と共に一つ一つを分かち合うことです。


POH> 好奇心をそそり、私は彼女が絵を評価する方法について尋ね、そしてもし、彼女に哲学が与えられるなら、今までの自分の仕事に完成感あるいは終了感があるのかどうか尋ねる。完全性の追求は、結局、創造力を掻き立てるのと同じくらい創造プロセスに対し破壊的であることを示唆する証拠にもかかわらず、依然として非常に多くの芸術家達の生命線のままだ。面白そう!渋谷は「私の気持ちが高まるか、さもなければ、お腹が空けば仕事を止め食べなければなりません」と答える。


<渋谷> もしかりに彼らが私の霊的な考えを聞いたとしたら、一部の人々は、私が理想主義者になろうとしていると感じたことでしょう。しかし、私はどんなことでも可能だと思います。私の好きな引用文があります。ジョン・アップダイク(John Updike)の「夢は叶う(Dreamscome true)で、その可能性なしに、自然が私たちに夢を持つことを駆り立てはしないだろうに」。だから一部の人々には、私の考えは夢のようで現実的でないように聞こえるかもしれません。しかし実際には、平和な世界を創造し、互いに尊重するということは、私たち全ての内にあると信じます。私たちの前にあるものを受け入れることによって、現在を受け入れることによって、私たちは現実にこの「理想的な」世界のために努力しているのだと思います。物事がどのように存在しているかに進入することによって、私たちは生命の自然の流れに順応し、そして私たちが生命の流れの一部であるのを受け入れることによって、物事が真にどのように存在するかの真実が明らかにされ始めるのです。

POH> インタビューの後、私は少しの間、渋谷さつきの物語をあれこれ考え、そして、私自身の幼年時代の闘争を考察する。私は、ハイフンで括ったような中で(私の場合、まさしく中国人でもなくまさしくカナダ人でもないと感じて育った中国系カナダ人として)、そして虫眼鏡のような小さな、主として白人の郊外の町で同じように過ごした生活を概観する。 恥ずかしがりやで、本好きの子というので、いじめっ子達へ、先生達へ、両親へ、いつも証明すべき何かが存在した。そのことで、私はそれ(私の幼少時の生活)は、別の時代に、どこか違った場所で、他の誰かとして生きたようなことだったかもしれない、としばしば思ってきた。ともかくもずっと完璧だった一つの人生(生活)かもしれないと思う。

しかし、我々の会話に戻って考えて、芸術、自然、そして人々への渋谷のアプローチから、 我々が学ぶ教訓があることを私に思い起こさせる。 即ち、物事が「真に存在する」ままに、そして、はるかに大きな全体の一部として物事を受け入れることを学んできた彼女の方法から。

自然界では、その営みが人の胸を打ち、我々は自然の批評を用意せずにはいられない気持ちにさせられる。 我々は桜の花をそのつかの間の寿命のために価値を下げたりしない。雨の日や荒れ狂う風、あるいは凹凸の岩面を咎めたりもしない。我々はこれら自然の驚異に、1オンスの価値さえ追加することができず、それらから価値を取り去ることもできない。それよりむしろ、我々は宇宙を受け入れることを学び祝いさえする。なぜなら自然は神秘的で崇高であり、素晴らしく造られているので、素晴らしい自然のすべてが、我々が誰であるかを知らしめるからだ。もし我々が同じ客観性を、即ち、同じ偏見のないな公平な目を、我々同胞の人間に対して適用することができるならば、我々は大いに異なる世界を創造できたでしょう。他の世界と置き換える必要や心配がない世界を。


<渋谷> 私は全体として私たちは一つであると感じます。「私たち」の意味はこの宇宙に存在するすべてのものです。そしてそれゆえに、私たちが行うことのすべて、我々が信じることのすべては、あらゆる物に影響を与え、全てと融合しています。私はかつて宇宙の中はどのようになっているかについて、哲学者アラン・ウォッツの話に耳を傾けましたが、私たちは上空の星々と同じ粒子から作られているということです。私たちが、私たち自身の質問に対する答えを持っていることの発想は、この概念から来ていると私は信じています。もし私たちが共に、ここにいて、皆が一体であると、真に理解することができるならば、私は、人為的な破壊、傷つけること、憎しみ、戦争、殺人、環境資源の枯渇、必要性が他の犠牲の上にあること、自慢する必要性、他より優れる必要性、裁くこと等がなくなるだろうと信じます。そのような事が沢山続くでしょう。もし私たちが本当に、私たち全てがひとつの起源からやっていきていると信じ、私たちが相互に繋がっていると信じるならば、他人に害を及ぼし傷つけるような何かをすることは、実は、自分自身を傷つけることになるのだと、自然に気づくでしょう。

translation ALEX IMAI