I wanted to take a moment to reflect on an incredible experience that I had last December—the opportunity to exhibit my artworks at the prestigious National Art Center Tokyo in Roppongi. It was a dream come true, and I am still pinching myself to make sure it was real. This post is a tribute to that unforgettable journey and the amazing people who made it possible.
First and foremost, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Tae sensei, who has been an incredible mentor and guide throughout my artistic endeavors. Without her unwavering belief in my potential, I wouldn't have had this extraordinary chance to showcase my work. Her HANATABA Produce Group has been a nurturing community, pushing me to explore new horizons and challenge myself beyond limits I once thought existed. And I still remember what she forecasted then - that something in Caihui will stir and change, for the better, after this experience. Fast forward to March 2023 and I have to admit, she is so right on this.
I am also indebted to my Japanese home-stay papa, a seasoned Graphic Designer, who has played a significant role in shaping my artistic vision. His wisdom, expertise, and unwavering support have been invaluable to me. I am forever grateful for his influence in my journey as an artist.
One of my biggest regret during this trip to Tokyo was missing the chance to meet my home-stay mama. Our last meetup was in 2018 and I promised I would return the next year with my daughters to visit. It wasn't meant to be as her health deteriorated by then and was hospitalised when we were in Japan. Who would have imagined a pandemic that would send the world into a lockdown? We lost her in 2021, way before traveling was made possible and my attempts to reconnect with her failed. While I was glad I finally could reach my home-stay papa less than a month before my flight to Japan, my heart was broken when he shared that mama has passed on. I remember almost getting another panic attack at that point in time, but mindfully practicing deep breathing and releasing the grief in a good, hard cry helped at that point in time.
My artworks on display were a tribute to life and also to Yukiko-san. I miss you so dearly and wish we could meet again. I first met her back in 2001 as an undergraduate and she was such an independent and empowering woman, way ahead of her time. She created such an impact in me and always give me strength when I feel myself submitting to gender stereotypical roles, especially after I've become a mother myself.
While the exhibition itself was a breathtaking experience, it stirred up a whirlwind of emotions within me. I couldn't help but feel like an imposter, questioning whether I truly deserved such an extraordinary opportunity. It was overwhelming, and I found myself shying away from my own creations. Looking back, I realise that I was afraid of fully embracing my accomplishments, thinking that someone else more worthy should have taken my place.
But today, as I reflect upon that transformative moment, I've come to understand the importance of acknowledging our achievements and giving ourselves the credit we deserve. I've learned that self-doubt is only natural, but it should never overshadow our accomplishments or prevent us from celebrating them. We must remind ourselves to see how far we've come, rather than solely focusing on how far we still aspire to go.
I invite you to join me in revisiting those cherished memories through the photographs I've shared. Each image tells a story of passion, dedication, and growth. They remind me of the hurdles I've overcome and the tremendous progress I've made as an artist. These pictures are a testament to the beauty that can emerge when we step out of our comfort zones and dare to pursue our dreams.
As I continue to embrace my artistic journey with renewed confidence and pride, I eagerly anticipate what the future holds. I am excited to explore new artistic horizons, push boundaries, and discover new heights of creativity. This newfound confidence has opened doors to endless possibilities, and I am ready to seize them with open arms.
I knew these fleeting moments of self-doubt would continue to creep up from time to time, and I hope to be able to fall back on these reflections and lessons I have learned to give myself the boost I needed to bounce back.
I have everything I need within me to succeed.
Thank you for being a part of my artistic voyage. Your unwavering support and encouragement have been a constant source of inspiration. I hope that my story serves as a reminder that we are all capable of achieving greatness when we believe in ourselves and embrace the journey, one step at a time.
With gratitude and love,