13 Mar 2022 | Works
A powerful gentleness of the self
The concept behind the Japanese word yasashi (優しい) has been on my mind for a long time. The simple translation is “kind” or “gentle”, but as I understand it, yasashi has a very deep meaning. It describes not only a behaviour, like someone acting kindly, but a state of being. It is a gentleness of the self, thoughtful and tender, like a warm sunshine. There is a deep power that comes from it.
This is one of the paintings that I created during my two-week stay in the quarantine hotel in Taiwan (or prison, as I thought of it). I have long thought that the Japanese actor Kentarô Sakaguchi (坂口健太郎) embodies this feeling of yasashi. Of course I don’t know if he actually is a gentle soul, but that’s not the point. I was looking for an image.
I gave him a mimosa plant tucked into the brim of his hat. It’s a plant that I love and that is bright and energetic, like fluffy sunlight. Then I put an adorable little puffer fish on his shirt. They are very cute but – beware – also very toxic. You know there’s always a little twist with my paintings!
The look on his face to me suggests that he expects something good is about to happen. As the corona pandemic is finally coming to an end, I hope we can look into the future.