The Japanese form of Haiku poetry has intrigued me ever since I was taught how to syndicate the three-line poem. I was shown how to formulate a haiku by my Japanese kindergarten teacher, Motoko, who I very much looked up to.
In 2019, I was fortunate enough to visit Tokyo where I fell in love with Harajuku, known internationally as the center of Japanese youth culture and fashion. I was staying in Shibuya (Harajuku’s home in Tokyo) at the time, but couldn’t help but visit Harajuku every day because it was so inspiring — the alluring smell of food I’d never seen or tasted before, the extremely fluorescent clothing and flashy touristy gifts, the captivating robotic side street shows — it was truly psychedelic, mesmerizing and inspiring enough to get me to visit Harajuku daily.
I didn’t fit into any of the clothing being sold on the streets of Harajuku because of my size at the time. I wanted the clothes so badly, so I could take them back to America to wear them proudly. They were adorned with surreal patterned cats, spaceships, blocks of cheese, rats, retro phone sets - you name it. This inspired me to make a Harajuku of my own but visually – in a two-dimensional space that fits all. One that would embrace all sizes and would allow me to be creative in the spirit of the Harajuku I loved day after day.
In this project, I tell stories that express my own feelings and views of the world visually and through the art of Haiku. Surrealism behooves us, fluorescence captivates us, and boundaries often tend to blur.