Intervista Miyuki Takanashi

How long have you been making art?

In 1983, after graduating from university with a degree in art, I began teaching. While working as a junior high school and elementary school art teacher, I exhibited my work in public recruitment exhibitions for teachers and public exhibitions in Hokkaido. In 2013, she quit her teaching job to concentrate on painting. So you could say it’s been several decades, but I think it’s been 10 years.

Who or what inspired you?
I often get inspiration from nature around me. Although Sapporo is a big city, you can experience untouched nature even within the city. The scenic area in the neighborhood that I visited every morning with my dog had sheep and cow pastures, a stream running through it, windbreaks and meadows, rows of poplar trees, a pond where migrating geese take a break, and even wild foxes. It’s a place. Your dog’s memories will always be with nature. It’s especially special in winter. The walk begins early in the morning when it’s still dark, and as we walk, the morning sun shines through the trees. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. Snow in Hokkaido covers everything. Mountains, forests, fields, houses, people’s lives, their joys and sufferings… they are just white and beautiful. Sometimes I feel like I am part of nature. I stand there alone, in the gently falling snow, under a starry sky, and in the crisp dawn air. That’s what it feels like.

Do you remember your first job?
My first job may have been when I was in my fourth year of college, when my instructor asked me to draw a picture for the cover of the college newsletter. Or, if I think more about the beginning, maybe when I was in elementary school, my teacher asked me to draw the cover of my graduation collection. Perhaps the reward I received was that after I got a job, the post office asked me to draw a commemorative postcard.

If there is, what is your favorite subject?
I play the piano. I took piano lessons until I was about 12 years old. Now it’s purely for my own enjoyment. Play your favorite songs. I also like bird watching, mountain climbing, and DIY.

Do you think your works stop time a bit?
I don’t think I’ve ever been very conscious of time when I paint.

How much do you feel you are in your works?
I try to cherish the lines, colors, and thoughts that emerge from quiet concentration. I think that quiet paintings are born from a quiet environment, but it is surprisingly difficult to place yourself in a quiet environment. I may be easily influenced by my surrounding environment. I didn’t feel much pain being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. However, when the Ukraine war started, I was so anxious that I couldn’t draw.

Are you okay when you make art?
I don’t really understand what it means to be okay, but I’m happy when I’m drawing.

Do your works manage to excite you?
Sometimes when I’m in the process of re-creating a piece or planning a solo exhibition, I’m like, “I’ve come up with something great!” I’m definitely going to give it a try! There’s something I’m excited about.

Do you love showing off your work in progress?
When I say showing off, there are videos of people completing their works on social networking sites, etc., but is that what they’re talking about? I’ve never tried it. I’ve never thought to try it.

Do you prefer the frenzy and movement of a city life, or the quiet and solitude of life?
I can’t live without feeling nature. City life is exciting and I enjoy going there once in a while, but it would be difficult for me to make a living there.

Do you like being an artist?
When I introduce myself, I am an artist. That’s what I’m saying. Am I an artist? What is an artist? One of my instructors (a sculptor) who taught me when I was a student said to me, “As long as you are drawing, you are in the same world as me.” I wanted to be in that world.

Do you like others to know you are an artist?
I haven’t really thought about it, but I probably like it. Although I call myself an artist, I think I would be happy if people around me thought of me the same way. But I’m an unknown artist. But now I’m starting to think that’s a good thing. I just want to draw my own pictures.

Do you love the world as it is?
I think it’s important to be who you are, and I want to be who I am. I think life is a series of small choices. There’s always something to choose from. Sometimes we make big choices. I don’t regret becoming a school teacher either; teaching children was a great job. I wanted to draw as much as I wanted. It took me decades to make that decision. It really feels like me. I had a late start as a painter, but I have no regrets. I’m glad I’m able to do that now.

Do you think you contribute to improving the world with your art?
I have always thought that it would be great if I could contribute to society through my drawings. Up until now, whenever my paintings were sold, I had donated 10% of the proceeds to “Doctors Without Borders.” Climate change due to recent global warming is having a considerable impact on my production, and I feel it is in crisis. It’s not someone else’s problem. Therefore, recently I have been making donations to WWF’s forest conservation efforts. However, I refrain from bringing this matter to the forefront. This is because, while I think it would be a good idea to start your own fund, there are many restrictions on donating to an existing organization, such as being prohibited from disclosing where the funds come from. Shall I try drawing a picture with a stronger message? I think so, but I don’t think expressing it directly is my style.

How much do you think your art is about love?
I hope my art can make people happy. I hope I can be close to those who are feeling sad or broken due to the coronavirus pandemic or war, and I hope I can gently push those who are hesitating to take the next step. I hope my art has that kind of power. There is no doubt that I love the scenery and life of my hometown in Hokkaido.

How would you define your art style?
The rhythm of silence played by the forest. I feel like I’m just transferring what’s ingrained in my memory and flowing out onto the canvas. For example, when you are walking in a forest, you remember the snow falling quietly, the rustle of leaves swaying in the wind, the twinkling sunlight filtering through the trees, the sound of creaking tree trunks, the breathing of living things, and so on. Their echoes create a quiet rhythm on the screen. I want to draw until I have a flow.











私は自己紹介する時はアーチストです。と言ってます。私はアーチストですか?アーチストって何だろう? 学生の時指導を受けた教官の一人(彫刻家)が、「あなたが絵を描いている限り、私と同じ世界にいる。」と言っていた。私はその世界にいたいと思った。






How long have you been making art?

Who or what were you inspired by?

Do you remember your first work? If there is, what is your favorite subject?

Do you think your works stop time a bit?

How much do you feel you are in your works?

Are you okay when you make art?

Do your works manage to excite you?

Do you love showing off your works while they are being created?

Do you prefer a frenetic city life and movement or calm and solitude?

Do you like being an artist? Do you like others to know you are an artist?

Do you love the world as it is?

Do you think you contribute to improving the world with your art?

How much do you consider your art to be love?

How do you define your art style?

Da quanto tempo fai arte?

Da chi o da cosa sei stato ispirato?

Ricordi la tua prima opera? Se c’è, quale è il tuo soggetto preferito?

Pensi che le tue opere fermino un po’ il tempo?

Quanto senti di essere nelle tue opere?

Stai bene quando fai arte?

Le tue opere riescono ad emozionarti?

Ami far vedere le tue opere durante la realizzazione?

Preferisci una vita di città frenetica e di movimento o di calma e solitudine?

Ti piace essere artista? Ti piace che gli altri ti sappiano artista?

Ami il mondo così come è?

Pensi di contribuire a migliorare il mondo con la tua arte?

Quanto consideri che sia amore la tua arte?

Come definisci il tuo stile d’arte?

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