Michiko Itatani

Gallery Affiliations: Printworks Gallery, Tory Folliard Gallery, Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art, GalerieBhak, New Gallery

Region: Midwest

“Starry night encounter” is my personal translation of the Japanese phrase ichi-go ichie. It is an idea found in Zen Buddhism: the concept of the transitory nature of things. The term is adopted in the Japanese tea ceremony: a 7-by-7-foot space, a guest, a simple serving of a cup of tea. Every meeting is the first and the last because it may not come again, or it may infinitely repeat.

I return to this very basic concept. Using a fictional and symbolic space, I condense experienced and imagined multilayered encountering events. I appreciate every encounter with a person, a creature, a tree, a flower, a rock, a room, a book, a song, a painting, or a self. In my youth, I wanted to pursue fiction writing. I still strongly believe in fiction’s ability to express the deepest truths. My paintings are my fiction writings: incomplete, fragmented, and under inquiry.

Through this working process I try to come to terms with the complex reality of the twenty-first century.