Catarina Gushiken


Affective memories
Through the figures of beauty, called the Ukiyo-e Bijingas that I connect with my childhood memories and references of my Japanese grandparents.

I built a mythical Japan from what I observed while living with my grandparents, going through their photographs, letters, postcards, documents, and wearing my grandmother’s clothes while she was putting her makeup for her dance performances in Okinawa Association. They were very connected with arts; My grandfather liked to take pictures, and my grandmother was raised in the Manabu Mabe colony. In this way, they never imposed anything to children and grandchildren to follow the Japanese traditions.

So, I created a personal mythology and my own rituals to connect with ancestry. I started drawing on the walls of my grandparents’ house when I was three, and then went exploring the drawing in a variety of surfaces and materials.

After the death of my grandparents, I needed to seek the meaning of all I imagined. I began to study the tradicional japanese painting (Sumie), engraving (mokuhanga) and calligraphy (Shodo), and also began the translation of the diaries left by my grandfather dating from 1936.

I like to observe and interpret the familiar objects that I keep with me. In my work, I overlap collages, sewing, prints, resins, in drawings and paintings that arise from my memories, photographs and imagination.