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Interview

Yumiko Kayukawa p2

Artist Yumiko Kayukawa talks about her desire for animals to live in the wild, and recommends a favorite mystery author from Japan…

READERSVOICE.COM: You were talking in one interview about the way humans and nature affect each other, and your paintings show a concern for animals, like in Imajin Zea Izu noo Taiga (Imagine There is No Tiger). I was watching an interview with Alfred Hitchcock about The Birds, where he said the birds were paying back the humans for the way the humans treated them. But what do you think the future shall be for wild animals?

YUMIKO KAYUKAWA: Some species will go extinct in the nature world. But they shouldn’t be the victims of human ego. Humans have to respect animals as they are born to live in nature. I would love to live on the planet in which wild animals live in the wild, not in cages.

RV: You used acrylic and ink on linen for Hinoeuma (Year of the FireHorse). Was it any different painting on linen and how did you decide to try that, instead of wood and canvas?

YK: I enjoy gradation painting recently, and the linen surface works better for it than any other material.

RV: I really like your sumi ink pictures, on paper mounted on wood panel, like Ginza Butterfly Blues, and Sand Cat and Horn. Do you like using ink? Did you use water with the black ink, and what sort of paper, and did you draw in pencil first?

YK: I use Japanese Sumi Ink, which is used mostly for calligraphy. I will add some water with it to give it gradation. First I will draw with pencil on paper and trace it on to another paper surface. Ginza Butterfly was on a thin paper, the others are on thick illustration boards. I love to work with both.

RV: What did you like about the non-fiction novel In Cold Blood? What other books have you read in recent years that you really liked, fiction or non-fiction, comics or anything else?

YK: I like crime stories or non-fiction. The psychology of a criminal’s mind is very interesting to me; it helps me to understand all of the horrible crimes in the world. In Cold Blood is a passionate story that spotlights both victims and the murderers. All of the details about their lives is so fascinating.
In the recent years, I’m enjoying a Japanese author Miyuki Miyabe’s mystery books. One of her books Rakuen is my favorite.

RV: Do you go around Seattle, or wherever you travel, and sketch every day in pencil and do you have a notebook with visual ideas you jot down all the time, or cut out and stick in the book?

YK: I usually don’t sketch outside, and I prefer reading a book while I’m traveling. All of my art stems from my imagination. To be honest I have so many ideas it would take several lifetimes paint them all.

RV: What are some of your plans?

YK: Relaunching my website, and working on more art.

– see sweetyumiko.com and Yumiko Kayukawa’s Facebook page for some of her brilliant paintings.
– copyright Simon Sandall