Michiko Suzuki : Artist Statement

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February 11, 2013

A feeler
(Compassion Versus the Volcano)

My work is based on my perception of the world in which the sense of space and distance is shrinking not only in terms of the physical world but also in terms of the mental space that people tend to inhabit in a fast-paced urban society.

Worldwide, many problems make the world shake: riots, the intervention of politics, the lack of freedom of speech, the sex trade of children, bullying, deficiencies of measures to deal with natural calamities and disasters, the menace of cyber/atomic warfare, etc. I think we have lost compassion, personal comprehension and the strong bonds of friendship and love. I believe that the demands of contemporary life leave too little time for mediation or the possibility of contemplating the present moment, resulting in human beings being out of balance. Large numbers of people desire only to get money or to work to make a living. Life is hard!

Since 1998, I have been using the title: “A feeler”, that means “a person who touches, feels and beholds”. I hope that the viewer will try to see art. It is a way of looking at life.

Fifteen years ago, I started making the “A feeler” series on a large scale because I very much wanted to equalize printmaking and painting. Today it is not uncommon for many printmakers to make large-scale prints.

Derrick De Kerckhove says that “in this age in which Internet technology is spreading throughout the world, we are moving to a new stage of intelligence.” Printmaking media, influenced by digital technology, is developing (moving into) a newer landscape.

Thinking back, in a time capsule, of my former large works, I feel a sense of human touch, a sort of comprehension and fertile imagination.

Finally, I hope that the viewer of my art may reflect upon their life – Compassion (Comprehension) versus the Volcano (Provocation).

I would like to evoke compassion and serenity, in a disharmonious world.

Michiko Suzuki
February 11, 2013


I am thinking about visible and invisible things when I am talking about my work. It could be that Art ultimately represents invisible things. Also Art is a balancer of your mind.

This solo exhibition’s title, “Floating World”, means, pictures of the present. Human beings life is short, but the stream of the river probably will not change, even when we die. Present life is a transient dream. We are just living between a dream and reality.

When watching something of this world I consider the positions of both present time and past. Also, I suppose that I can take the middle position represented by printmaking. It is neither painting not sculpture, but has a neutral position, a kind of distance (even from myself). I would like to make works of a neutral reality by printmaking. For example I make neutral photographic images using pinhole camera techniques, or I take photographs of water, or in a foggy place making use of the effects of light. Also, I am trying to show the actual feeling of the existence of my prints, so I combine the different qualities and surfaces of toner etching, silkscreen, live hand drawing etc.

My recent work has been inspired and motivated by the poetry of May Sarton, a famous American poetess. It was a big change in my life when I moved from Japan. It seemed I shifted into another dimension. It is still very difficult to express my deep ideas in English. This inconvenience attracted me to an interest in words and poetry. I could take a step forward into a new life and get encouragement with the poetry of May Sarton.

Words helped me to represent my ideas of that “invisible something”. Transparent silk-screened images, transfer drawings written in shaky English and images of floating calligraphy in water- these seal eternal time on precious paper.

The works in this exhibition all seem to have a different focus. However, I show this variety of works to the viewer who can, at last, be able to realize Suzuki’s ideas- a plan maybe like a mystery movie or a novel. These images, at first sight, don?t connect with each other, but finally they will be completed with your brain, emotions, sensitivity and experience.