Yearly self-portrait with noren. 2018

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Yearly self-portrait with noren. 2018. J. Harms. 29x39cm. Acrylic on red paper.

This year’s portrait was more difficult to paint than the previous years. I painted and discarded several before finally painting this one. Ten years ago, almost to the day, I left France to go to Japan, where I lived and worked for a year and a half.

It was a tough yet rewarding and meaningful experience. It was there that I found my artistic language among the many colors and lines of the cityscape of Nagasaki.

While living there, I got to witness traditional holidays, and seasonal events. I also visited craft shops, I began collecting art too, and sent home many things, like this noren, a detail of which I painted in the background. It now hangs in my bedroom.

Today Nagasaki

And a Happy Birthday to Sayaka Takahashi, one of its citizen, English teacher extraordinaire, who, a couple years ago, while I was working in Nagasaki, found a painting spot for me near my appartment, and by that actively participated in helping me find my artistic voice. Domo arigato Sayaka chan !

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