“East-West Dialogue,” is the dominant theme that threads through my artworks and reflects my cultural heritage. The multi-cultural perspective to my art expression has influenced how I view the process of art and the subjects I select to address in the language of the visual arts. It is a life commitment to me. The subject matter of many of my major artworks derives directly from experiences I had encountered as a Japanese American. The topics that deeply concern me have became subjects of my art include issues of cultural diversity, civil rights and justice, race, gender, political conflicts, and cities and the environment.
Recognizing my mixed cultural background I believe that I could, perhaps, make a contribution through the arts to bring better understanding of diverse cultures. The issues I select to depict for my art projects are those that I have personally experienced. For example, beginning with the incident when I first had to stand my ground. That was when I gave my high school valedictorian address about the incarceration of Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II, and how the United States government action conflicted with the United States Constitution. Specifically, my painting, “Hirabayashi vs. United States,” deals with this issue. Subsequently, the case was overturned in the Federal District Court of Washington State. My “Kimono & Barbed Wire,” series of paintings concerns this conflict of the Japanese Americans incarceration into ten concentration camps and the “due process: clause of the Amendment. Advertently, my “City Lights” series of paintings focused on another conflict, this time dealing with the Twin Towers of the Trade Center, the last work in this series depicting the terrorist act of “9/11.” Currently the next project on the easel is to be a painting showing the rise of the “new.” Hopefully all conflicts will lead to a better understanding of human relations. On a more enlightened event, my “Friendship” lithograph prints were featured in the 1984 Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival with the purpose of American and Japanese Friendship. It has become a yearly celebration, international in scope, with people around the world coming to Washington, D.C. to enjoy the arrival of spring. Which reminds me of a title of one of the several art courses I had offered at the Smithsonian Institution, “Image and Imagination, Creative Expression Through Painting” as I begin the creation of the next art project.