This is what I expected for most of the time during my solo show at Gallery Camellia: a few drawings hung sparsely on the walls in a quiet room. I had a good book, some wonderful tea for sipping, and the sun streaming through the windows. Guess what I planned on doing?
After repeatedly pulling out the drawings hidden in the back room to show people, the gallery owner decided that I should display all the ones that I had brought. She also decided that a casual approach was the way to go. It felt strange but it worked.
Displaying them casually on the floor worked, because we usually ended up picnicking on the floor! Sairah Miller (in the top hat), a mask artist, brought several bottles of wine to share. Now that I think about it, this must have been really strange for some people. In Japan, people do not usually sit directly on the floor. It is regarded as dirty, so they lay down plastic sheets, blankets, bamboo mats, and so on. Trust me! Some Japanese guests also sat on the floor with us. Everybody was that relaxed. The drawings, the space, and the people worked together to create an atmosphere where everybody felt at home.
Thank you to the kindhearted people who brought flowers and other presents. Everybody was so generous with their time, goodies, and information.
This is what happened every day, almost all day! Many of them were friends or friends of friends, but many were also complete strangers. Everybody smiled. This happened even without any wine.
I think many of my friends enjoy coming to see my shows. Of course they like my art, but I think they also like the chance to do something artsy fartsy. They like the chance to go to a gallery and say that they know the artist and support both the arts and a friend.
People like to wear something that they have saved for a special occasion, something that they usually are not brave enough to wear in their regular circles perhaps. They have an excuse to buy flowers or some special chocolate and go to a new place. They give themselves permission to enter what might be a new world for them. And it is fun!
Many artists also came. Here I am with Yayoi Kobayashi, who I was with in the group show in Chiba the previous month. Also, Nob Hagiwara and his wife Rosalyn Hagiwara, a holistic therapist and art therapist, also popped by.
Yuko Imafuku (left) is another artist who uses coloured pencils. She has also displayed her work at the Gallery Camellia. Her work is beautiful and it tends to be smaller and more realistic than mine. Naokoa Harada, the gallery owner, is on the right.
I made many new friends, and I sold this piece. It was an amazing week! Can I do it again? Please!