“It was clear that art and beauty were among those necessary things we had to provide in an emergency.” -Roger W. Lowther, author of Aroma of Beauty
We experience loss and grief in life. But, we have to remember that nothing is wasted. We (and the cities) are going to be better, brighter, stronger, wiser, warmer, and more loving with having gone through the events. And, arts (visual arts, music, or any forms) have the power to heal us and others. I personally experienced it.
“Path, Mighty Hue” (diptych) – Detail, Misako OBA, 2021. Mixed Media on Canvas, 32×20 inch (81x51cm)
There was the “Aroma of Beauty” Art Conference 2021 in Tokyo to remember stories of hope and healing. Artists shared about finding the “aroma of beauty” in our broken and devastated world.
As a visual artist, I was invited to exhibit my work at this event. Approximately twenty five paintings from the “Stars and Desert” series were shared on their walls, ranging from 2016 to 2021.
“Stars and Desert” Series
The body of my work reflects my interest in human life as a journey. It examines our soul and explores universal experiences, such as emotions. It depicts a light in darkness, beauty with its transient nature, and something larger than life.
I have been creating the series related to stars, desert, and our lives since 2014. I found myself drawn to stars when I moved to Seattle from New York City one year before. Having had an opportunity to see the desert and the Milky Way with the naked eye for the first time in my life and to feel awe toward God’s creations motivated me to develop this series.
It was after I had experienced many consecutive unexpected losses: loss/death of my child, marriage, a finger, one-in-a-million type tragedies already twice by then, and many additional hardships. It was very difficult and heartbreaking. However, I was able to be healed and recover rather quickly each time and even felt at peace in the harsh dry “desert time” and thankful for what life has to offer.
So, I wanted to share perspective and hope through this series as a visual statement.
“Bringing Forth” (diptych) – Misako OBA, Encaustic Mixed Media on Cradled Wood.
Life’s challenges and disasters can be compared with the story of Job in the Bible. I projected my life onto his story. He had terrible calamities but was blessed double for the rest of his life by ultimately trusting God and his love. Like Job did, looking up to the stars and recognizing God’s total control can change our negative feelings and outcome in life.
I believe God watches over our journey and blesses those who have faith in him. He can loose the cords of Orion and control from vast nature to the molecule level. The time in the deserts would also serve as a good preparation time and you could grow.
The Creator actually made “streams in the desert” in my life. It happened more than once (since I had multiple tragedies and hardships).
As I experienced, God indeed heals the broken-hearted as it says in Psalm 147:3-5. He sometimes uses art to reach people’s heart.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”
This verse became the encaustic art Heals the Brokenhearted in 2014 (the artwork is in the U.S.) and I felt motivated to create the series since then.
“Heals the Brokenhearted,” from Stars and Desert Series, Misako OBA, Encaustic Mixed Media on wood panel with black floater frame. 9x9x1 inch (approx. 23x23x2.5cm)
As of 2021, the series is ongoing as Phase II. My latest work Rising Higher with Him was created for the Aroma of Beauty event’s opportunity, for those who still hurt from the 3.11 disaster or from any personal hardships, and those who are already healed but seek to leap higher from here.
“Rising Higher with Him” from Stars and Desert Series, Misako OBA, 2021.
Mixed Media on Canvas. F20 (approx. 73×61 cm/ 29×24 inch)
My art includes layers of memories, thoughts, dreams, paths, illusions, and disillusions. I abstractly integrate ancient but timeless Bible verses and contemporary computer-programming languages (code) that correlate with the stars.
However, I try not to illustrate my findings or verses in a literal sense, but include the soul and essence in my artwork so that the audience would have the opportunity to feel something, ponder, and discover their own way.
“Rising Higher with Him” (detail), Misako Oba
Although scientists and professionals continually research the patterns and details of the stars and universe, there is still something beyond human knowledge or understanding. I reflect and explore this mystery with a conceptual and psychological approach.
If you look closely, in art and life, the details and patterns may emerge. However, sometimes,
“L‘essentiel est Invisible pour les Yeux” (What is essential is invisible to the eye). –The Little Prince (by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” –2 Corinthians 4:18
You don’t have to fully “understand” arts. The essence is sometimes invisible.
All we need is a small step with an open-minded or curious heart even during the painful time. Then, they will come to you. To enlighten, to encourage, to empower you! It will reconnect your true abilities and full potentials.😊
You rise higher! ✨
Highlights Video from the Conference
The highlight video by Community Art Tokyo
Through this conference, art and beauty are not just luxury things when you can afford, but indeed, NECESSARY things that people need in an emergency. I learned this myself as well. So, we artists strive to provide it even in difficult situations.
I would like to express my gratitude not only to the visitors who came in the rain, but also to all the staff members and volunteers who involved in the event and the exhibition, including the preliminary meetings, preparations from several months earlier, the setting up and taking down the artworks at the venue. Also, big thanks to everyone who has read this blog post this far. 😊
*At the event, artworks were not allowed to sell but to exhibit only. Currently, accepting direct orders. If you are interested in this series, please contact us from here. Or email me. (There are items that have already been inquired and sold, and works that the European gallery started to be in charge of, so if you are interested, do not hesitate to contact me. I can let you know what my current available works are!
Gallery Exhibition at “Aroma of Beauty” Art Conference 2021 in Tokyo. Approximately 25 works are selected from the Stars and Desert series.
May God bless you abundantly
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