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there is an interview with me in a new issue of milk magazine, from hong kong. apparently, the editor came to my blog and liked it, so i was contacted about showing my drawings in the magazine. it happened very fast — once i said yes it only took a week before the issue was published with my drawings in it. they mailed me several copies from hong kong, and i just got them.

milk magazine is a weekly magazine about fashion, music, design, culture, entertainment, trends etc. the writer who contacted me said their audience is mostly 18 – 35 years old. the graphic design work is stylish and the content is interesting. i can’t read chinese, but i could decipher some of the chinese characters that are also used in japanese.

for this issue, they featured 12 of my drawings including “new heartbeat”, “my secret elephant”, and “all i can see” — in eight pages in colour! they were kind enough to let me choose which drawings i wanted to show.

click images to enlarge (slideshow)

the last page of the article is the interview. the writer interviewed me by email, in english. he asked about my bio and for some stories related to my drawings. i can’t read the chinese version of the interview, but i guess it’s a literal translation with some editing. this is how the interview went:

were you born in japan? where were you born?

i was born in kobe, japan.

did you go to high school in japan or overseas?

i graduated high school and university in japan. i have a degree in social work.

did you study at any art schools in japan or overseas? what is the name of the school?

i’ve never taken any art classes. i’m self-taught. i like to teach myself how to draw by drawing. i’m not interested in art theory or history. i don’t like to think about what i do in that way. so i’m glad i never went to art school.

when did you move to saskatchewan? how long have you benn living in saskatchewan?

i’ve been living in saskatoon, SK since summer 2005. i moved to canada back in 2000, though. i’ve also lived in winnipeg, manitoba and kingston, ontario.

why did you move to saskatchewan?

my husband got a job here, so we moved. i like living on the flat, flat prairie. when i stand in a big prairie field, i really feel like i’m standing on the earth. i especially like to listen to spacious electronic music (like microhouse) while driving under the vast prairie sky, surrounded only by sound and atmosphere. it feels good.

when did you start drawing?

i started drawing when i was three or so. my grandma would give me some paper to draw on, and i just loved it. i used to draw in my notebooks now and then, but i started drawing more seriously in 2004. that was the first year that i showed my work in public. now i show my work on my blog (www.plastiquemonkey.com) and at gallery shows and street fairs. i like seeing how people react to my drawings. it’s amusing.

what kind of art do you like?

i like art that makes me want to touch it and get inside its world. i tend to like photography and film more than painting or drawing. i don’t pay much attention to what’s going on in the art world, or what kind of work other people are doing. i know what i like, but i can’t explain what it is.

what is your inspiration of your drawing?

images appear in my mind whenever i’m sad, mad, happy hurt, or sentimental – which happens a lot. i don’t have any tricks to come up with ideas. i spend most of my time lost in my own mind. ideas just come to me as i’m going through my daily life, even though i can’t see the connection between what i’m doing and those images. as soon as i get an image, i try to draw it right away. i don’t think much about what it means. i just start drawing, paying attention to my technique, the colours, and the facial expressions. what you see in my drawings is what i’ve got in my mind.

when did you start to sell your drawings – prints/ originals?

i started selling my work at street fairs and art festivals when i came to saskatoon. i also opened an online shop in 2006. people from around the world can come to my online shop and buy my prints, original drawings, postcards, and useless toys. it was quite a bit of work to set up, but it’s great – i enjoy sending my work to foreign addresses where i’d like to visit someday, and imagining my drawings hanging on someone’s wall. at the same time, i really enjoy showing and selling my work at street festivals. i find it more stimulating than showing my work in an art gallery, because i can see the reactions right on the spot. i get such a nice response from all sorts of people on the street, not just the types who go to art galleries. i prefer people to come across my work in their daily lives, including online, not just in a gallery where they go specifically to look at “art”. i get more natural responses on the street – if people don’t like it, they’ll tell me. i think that’s great. it just makes me want to draw more and better.

do you have any new plan from now on?

i’m always trying to improve my technique so i can realize the images in my mind more precisely. at the same time, i don’t want to forget that better technique doesn’t mean better work. in the end, i’m doing this for my own enjoyment. i’m going to keep on drawing images that make me laugh.

can you tell me which is your most favorite work? and the reason why?

it’s hard to choose. it depends on my mood. right now my favorite drawing is called “new heartbeat”. i drew it after i found out i was pregnant for the first time. i went to the doctor and listened to the baby’s heartbeat on the monitor. it was still so early in the pregnancy that i couldn’t tell anyone except my husband. but i just had to do that drawing, because it was living inside of me.

the writer showed my favorite drawing, “new heartbeat”, on a full page and sent me a proof of the article as a souvenir. he was very thoughtful from start to finish.

since this article appeared i’ve noticed more and more visitors from hong kong, and people have been contacting me to say hello. thanks for stopping by!

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probably my favorite movie ever is “in the mood for love”, directed by wong kar-wai. it’s subtly overwhelming. the tension, the distance … just so sexy. it’s all about mood: colour, music, clothes, food … ambiance. you can look, you can almost feel it, but you can’t touch…


2046 was publicized as the sequel for in the mood for love. as soon as i heard wong kar-wai was filming, i wanted to see it…

2046 finally came to saskatoon last fall, at the broadway theater. i wanted to go the day it opened. but we waited until cheap night (tuesday). i then discovered there is no cheap night at broadway theater (of course not, it’s broadway…).

the movie was showing at 9pm, and i was planning to get there early, to make sure we got good seats. but we were late, so we showed up right at 9. i was so worried. we bought tickets (hmm, no lineup) and ran inside.


no need to worry. no one there except us! we were at a loss. too many choices — we could sit anywhere. talk about home theater, this was it. just for fun, i sat in the front row left and paul sat in the back row right and we talked diagonally for awhile. then two guys who had been hanging out in the lobby came in. they had popcorn — how can you eat popcorn watching this sort of movie? i love popcorn, but not with a sentimental wong kar-wai movie.

paul and i met in the third row, centre and the movie began.


about this movie, i don’t really remember the story, and it doesn’t make much sense anyway. that’s okay, it’s all about the smoke and the colours and the glorious music.

the story starts after the end of “in the mood for love”. tony leung becomes a sci-fi writer in hong kong and gets involved with many women. none of his affairs last long. there’s also a futuristic story about kimura takuya (kimu-taku!) riding a train with some beautiful robots. everyone’s in love, but nobody can do anything about it.

i don’t care for the time travelling train part, but i love the parts in old hong kong. tony leung is just as sincere as in “in the mood for love”, but now he’s a bit of a gigolo (what a mustache!). all the ladies love him.

many of the shots reflect similar images from “in the mood for love” (lovers in the back seat of a taxi, passing each other on the stairs). all the women have qualities of maggie cheung’s character (image and character), but no one can be maggie cheung. tony’s still in love with her, and he’s trying to find maggie in every woman. he’s always being reminded of some aspect of her, but he can’t find all of her in someone else. so even when he’s sleeping around, his heart is still purely in love with her.


mp3: connie francis – “siboney”
buy: the dvd and the soundtrack

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