My devotion to stained glass – 6

My Devotion to Stained Glass -6 May 9, 2004

“Insects in a Dream” 1990 Excellence Award at the Kyushu Glass Art
Exhibition 90
I learned what is important to an artist while working on “Zen,”
as I mentioned in my previous essay (No.5).

I knew I would never be able to produce good art if I drove myself
into a corner, trying too hard to create good designs and pieces.

It is quite natural to have conflict as an artist. But it is important
to be natural as much as possible – to relax and to be honest with
oneself even in a difficult situation……. Working on “Zen” gave me
the opportunity to develop this idea.

The piece, “Insects in a Dream,” also influenced me a lot. First, it gave me the
opportunity to think about the things that are importance in being an artist.
Also, it gave me confidence and greatly changed me as an artist, let alone as a
human being.

This is my most precious work, which guided me to a turning point in my life
as an artist.
I exerted the utmost effort on this work – one reason is because I
intended to send this to a general invitation exhibition. Another
reason is that I had very special feeling toward the work.

As I wrote earlier in this “Blog,” my son had been suffering from an incurable
disease, muscular dystrophy.
The life of my family completely changed once we became aware of his illness.
We had to change our way of living and thinking as well as our sphere of
daily activities.

My wife devoted her time to caring for my son as a mother.
And, although I was his father, there was no room in their relationship for me
to step in; I$B!!(Bjust couldn’t do anything. I wanted to do something for him as father.
I thought every day about what I could do for him even though I knew it was
impossible for me to act in the same way as my wife was for him.

There was only one thing I could do for him: to make stained glass.
I desperately wanted to make a piece for my son and decided to use my son’s
favorite insect design in my work.
I was attracted by the insect which he had scribbled on my sketch book in ball-point pen.
I put his insect (which later became the logo of my studio)$B!!(Bin the center with
my clumsy insects entwined in a playful touch.
I really enjoyed producing this work. I exchanged a lot of conversations with those

This was the first piece presented to my son from his father.
I didn’t need any logic, theory or reason to make this piece.
I had nothing but pure love toward my son.
I didn’t care about creating a good design, my technique or other people’s opinion.
I had never experienced this kind of feeling before.
I drew a design and made the work as free as I felt.
What else did I need?
People are born with a pure nature, impulses warmly coming up from the
bottoms of our hearts. . . . ..
I have learned the most important thing as an artist is to make each work
with full affection and great care.

I felt as if I had suddenly discovered a valuable treasure. My stance
on my pieces and my way of thinking have greatly changed since then.
I want to make artwork from which we can feel love and appreciation.
I want to make pieces which give people a warm and
gentle feeling.
My dream spreads over the sky.
My honest feeling is that I don’t want to make artwork based on theory and
Of course, I don’t deny the importance of theory and knowledge, because
we need them for the process of learning.
But, I really think art made from pure affection and devotion truly surpasses them.

It seems the clue lies in the place beyond the theory and reason.
I think it would be wonderful to find my own aesthetics and have a
dialogue with myself, and act honestly according to
my feelings.