Mind Forest

by Kato Shojiro

4 – 28 Aug 2004

I stayed at Silpakorn University for a year from 2002 to study Contemporary Thai Art with a grant from the Japanese government. During the stay, I visited Cambodia to see Angkor Wat because I was interested in the Khmer ruin in Thailand. I was impressed to discover the fact that the forest of the great Khmer ruin was also a killing field. I thought about human history all night long while watching the moon shining on the forest. Under the moonlight, the memories of the forest arose with my imagination, they showed me various scenes like heaven and hell that human finally arrived. For me, the forest seemed to be a meditation device telling us the human history.

After this experience, I was released from traditional material and technique of Japanese style painting, and then I started to draw simple paintings emphasizing imagination. The theme of the “Mind Forest” series is a question where human has come and will go. The answer is in our memory that we took over from our ancestors. With my art as a device, I would like to stimulate audiences’ memory and imagination and to illustrate human history and future. The role of my paintings is to give a sense of unity to everybody, who lives together in this new era. I believe, with our imagination, we can solve conflicts from differences in languages, cultures, religion and customs which exist all over the world.

Kato Shojiro