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Art Works by Keiko Koma
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I was born a unique child, in that I could visualize other people’ s minds and a world unknown to them. I put into words what I saw with my inner eyes. I was an innate poet, and later in my life I came to narrate my poems before large audiences, accompanied by improvisational music by Idaki Shin. Its first overseas concert was held in the year 2005, in Tyre, Lebanon, a city of Phoenician civilization, with 9000 years of history. We were committed to do our program, the Legends of Koguryo Rediscovered. It was evaluated as a unique artistic concert that would contribute greatly to pave the way for peace in the war-torn Middle East. On the day of the concert, people saw that everybody was so moved that no one could refrain from shedding tears, as the concert moved towards its climax. I was given the title of Honorable Citizen of Tyre. In the following year, to our great regret, the city of Tyre, situated in the border area with Israel, was bombed day after day by the Israeli army, together with the rest of Lebanon. I heard that because of Tyre’ s location, numerous precious lives were lost, and many buildings and vital bridges were destroyed. I was desperately in need to do something. I recalled a Japanese tradition, to spend every day sewing with a needle, thousands and thousands of times, as a prayer for the well-being of one’ s most cherished person.
So I started to make these art works, hoping each piece would protect Prof. Ghazi Kahwaji, who always supported our peace activities, and named himself as NPO KOMA Lebanon, together with the mayor of Tyre, who called me her daughter, and many other close friends of mine.
I refer to my work as scenery of life, expressing the light of life of each person that is at one’ s core, and the source of energy to live on. It is always shining beautifully and displaying a wonderful scenery before my internal eyes. When this essential light of one person is expressed with my art work, I feel my life unified with that person’ s life, living together. I feel protected from any bad incidents.
The other thing I have experienced is that what I envision within myself always turns out to be true and happens in reality later in my life. So I am grateful for this simple fact: that every moment life is opening its way towards the future and keeps me alive. However difficult outer circumstances may be, the internal light of each person stays as a beautiful torch of hope, showing us a glorious future to come. This is how I came to create my mind-scape art work series; brooch, card holder, tie, picture-frame tapestry, T-shirts, costume, etc. How I rejoice to see, while traveling abroad, that a foreigner is greatly impressed, becomes cheerful, and looks much brighter, just by acquiring one of these pieces. This corresponds perfectly to my message: ‘when your mind is shining, you will invite a lot of luck and happiness into your life; may your life be blessed and wonderful.’
In Turnovo, Bulgaria, the head of a hospital was so attracted by a tie I was wearing around my neck, saying that a mere glance of it was giving her a special power to ease her mind and a lot of vigor to her life, that I was asked to make special art works to be mounted on the hospital walls. I accepted with great pleasure. Furthermore, I asked Master Idaki Shin to create a special music CD for the hospital and also asked our NPO Koma members to manufacture a new sound system, designed for a sanitary environment, and I donated them, together with my finished art works. The mayor of Turnovo was a medical doctor as well, and he commented, at a press conference, that my art works were serving as part of the hospital’ s medical treatment. In the year 2012, the North Eastern Japan Great Disaster hit all the coastal areas in Tohoku district and I made up my mind to contribute myself till the end of my life for its recovery process. I drove around almost all the disaster hit cities and set up NPO Koma Tohoku center in Morioka as our strategic spot for effectively implementing all our activities. One thing I did was to dye T-shirts with marbling technique and presented them to all the children of the area with the message that each of them was precious and unique being in this vast universe. I was very impressed as many children have sent me a thank you letter and keep on telling me about their life. Currently my art works are exhibited and available to public at the Koma Gallery Café, Yasaka and the Komaya in Kyoto, the Keiko Koma Skyrocket Center at Omotesandou and the Keiko Koma Gallery at the basement floor of Tokyo Cafe Komaya in Roppongi.