Together Tree (2021)

Acrylic paint, Oil pastel, Carving on Wood

Artist Note. Tree Series (2021)

The “Tree Series” began not long after my husband and I moved from the United States to Japan in 2016. While out exploring our new home, I came across a unique tree. It has two distinct tree trunks growing together to form a single canopy. I thought that the appearance of two different trees with separate roots, weaving stems, and blooming green leaves was similar to the way my husband and I came to be together: two individuals who started out separately only to find each other and intertwine their lives to form a new single entity. Later, I learned that there was a term for these types of trees: “Yeonri Ji” (連理枝).

At that time, I made this tree as a drawing using oil pastels. I then continued to further this line of thought in my own unique way of using a combination of carving and acrylic paint. The trees’ shape was inspired by those I saw in Luxembourg Park in Paris, which I visited several years ago. All the trees in the park were in the shape of a rectangle with a round tip resembling a loaf of bread. I sat in the park for a while and looked at the trees and the landscape, and as I kept looking, I saw and heard the leaves swaying in the wind. I liked the feeling so much and wanted to capture it. I started to visualize the movement of the trees and leaves using a wooden canvas and a carving knife. I used a carving knife on the canvas after the painting was completed and sculpted it to raise the end of the wood surface. The rounded ends gathered together to look like water droplets on a tree from a distance, and like leaves on a tree branch up close. Carving the leaves from different angles produced a sense of motion as if the wind was blowing through the trees.

The flowers drawn between the green leaves all had different shapes and colors. It is impossible in the real world to have this many kinds of flowers blooming on one tree and growing in harmony. But in my tree, various flowers live together and bloom beautifully. This reflects our society where people of various races, cultures, and personalities live, and it also contains the hope of living in harmony with these flowers.

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