Minako’s Artist Statement
‘I see stars in your eyes’

Fashion, the most concrete human expression, is what everybody has to deal with every day. Yet the closest thing to your everyday life can wormhole you through the universe to a new dimension. Like when you fall in love, you see a cosmos through your lover’s eyes, with the eyes as windows and the whole universe beyond it. So when I draw eyes, I think of them as an entrance and exit, or invitation to outer space or deep inner space. Even if I cover or close the eyes, the eyes are important. The glitter and splashing images are views I see when I close my eyes during meditation. Frieda Kahlo, who loved fashion, has that eye-power, that you are going to be sucked in, where the inside is out, the outside is in. She has the power to get us to ask, Who am I? I see myself as an apprentice to Frieda Kahlo, though I’m not pain-oriented. My work is a bit like ‘dreaming Frieda Kahlo’.

I use Photoshop and start with scanned photographs from old magazines or photos I take, and I mutate those parts over and over, and paint a whole surface over it. It’s a bit like sculpting two-dimensionally. Sometimes I spend a week or more to finish one figure, but after all the emotion I put into the work, it’s a program of ’0′ and ’1′. Years ago when I changed from liquitex airbrush to digital drawing, I felt sad that there was no tangible tableaux. But soon I thought of the Tibetan sand mandala. To something that can evaporate in a second, you give all your effort, every moment. Energy flow of beauty and joy should be more important than tableaux. And yet since I’m living in a material world, I’m in love with material joy of serving my design, of seeing my work put to unexpected uses, in very tangible, commercial ways.

The great thing about fashion, besides its texture and sexual attraction, is that while it is constantly changing, there is also a certain classic or universal element that is ageless. You can follow the changes but you have to have roots. Also fashion includes all the cultural languages of the world, and everybody can make their little story to create and express themselves.