I CAN DO IT – だいじょうぶ, 2020

Woodblocks, acrylic paint, yarn

The birth of my first child in February 2019 changed my life. I now see things that were invisible to me before. Society has an illusion and treats human bodies as if they are machines. Mothers are expected to sacrifice themselves for their children. Artists are expected to sacrifice themselves for the sake of art. I choose to get out of this existing system, the old world.

Motherhood is teaching me to listen to my own body and accept the present. I embrace what I have and what I experience. I take care of myself as a radical act and see the unique characteristics of motherhood as my resources and inspirations rather than obstacles to my artistic practice. This new decade of my work celebrates personal sensations and aims to heal the traumatized social body to fight against systemic violence.

I CAN DO IT – だいじょうぶ marks the beginning of this journey while addressing the nature of bilingual/bicultural child rising. The English version uses second-hand woodblocks, which shows the love and fun time of previous owners, other children. The Japanese version delivers a similar message. However, the letters are hand-painted on repurposed blocks as readymade Japanese blocks are harder to find. Parenting in a foreign culture imposes extra challenges on motherhood.