Revisitation • Hitching a Ride on the Breath of Fortune • open-edition giclée print

⊛ Hitching a Ride on the Breath of Fortune  ⊛ open-edition giclée print

⊛ Hitching a Ride on the Breath of Fortune
⊛ open-edition giclée print

Fate beckons.

It tantalizes, dancing right out of reach, a dry leaf spun away by a lazy breeze.  Like ancient Aeolus, we will harness a wind of our own.  

We will fill our own sails, and fate will wither and fade in the brilliance made of our own design. 

Fortune is the third image I produced as a print after moving to Japan.  At that time, I still lived in Tokyo, in a first floor 2K apartment with...

...Ah, those of you who haven't had the pleasure of hunting for a place to live in Japan might need a little bit of a key.  Luckily, the abbreviations used by the real estate agencies in Japan are adapted from English.  Less lucky is the fact that, more often than not, borrowed words often either become narrower in scope than their native version, shedding meaning like a husky in August, or get blown up to be far more common than they ever were in their original home.  Or, y'know, just take on a whole new and only tangentially connected meaning.  In this case, they are remarkably faithful to their origin.

Anyway, here's the key:

  • K = kitchen (simple, yes?)

  • DK = dining kitchen, meaning a kitchen with enough room for a table to eat at

  • L = living room

  • LDK = LivingDiningKitchen, one hopefully large room where everything but sleeping happens

  • 4.5/6/8/etc... = open-use rooms are identified by size as measured by tatami mats, pronounced ~jo. The size of tatami mats differs by area. Good luck with the math. A basic US room is about 8 jo. Typical rooms in Japan are 6 jo.

Thus, a 2K translates as two 6 jo rooms plus a narrow kitchen area.  So:  small.  Alternatively:  spacious by Tokyo standards.

My studio doubled as our bedroom.  We got less than one hour of sunlight a day.  There was often scurrying from the floor above, but I know for a fact that the neighbor didn't have pets.  Mold regularly grew on the walls behind the furniture.  And occasionally on the furniture.  

I once got bitten by a mosquito in my sleep on a Christmas morning.  On the lips.  Which seemed like taking liberties.

In Tokyo, this is not a bad apartment.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that taking control of my destiny was, if not forefront of my mind, banging hard against the walls of my subconscious.

What might be a little more unexpected is that I feel pretty much the same right now. Like, right now. 

As much as I’ve done, as much as I’ve changed my life - and been changed by it - the desire to surge onward, guided by my own stars, powered by my own generator, has only increased.

On a semi-random side-note, I’ve often been asked by my Japanese friends if this is Son Goku / Son Wukong / 孫 悟空 because he looks a bit like a monkey and rides on air that looks like a cloud.

The short answer is “No”. I wasn’t thinking of Journey to the West or Dragonball when I sketched this out. Nor was the protagonist meant to be a monkey. Having said that, I love when fans and art-lovers add their own layers of meaning to my work. So, if you like that interpretation, feel free to hang on to it.