The Dog Show: Time Traveler Umeyama’s Drawings from the 21st Century
It was almost 30 years ago, one steamy, hot summer day, when I saw someone walking Siberian Husky dog on a busy street in Bangkok, Thailand. It was when the word globalization started to appear here and there. Why a Siberian anything in Thailand?
I want to know about the world I live. I came to this foreign country, the US, when I was in my 30s. A personal paradigm shift including cultural and language differences strengthened my curiosity of wanting to make sense of this place. Mundane quotidian objects of our times surely inform us about our current existence. Both events and “stuff” in our lives have root causes or reasons. My approach is using the mundane as an extension of the broader world.
In this body of work, I chose to use a micro perspective to see my world by borrowing Umeyama’s view. Umeyama is not a hero, rather, he is a mediocre scholar who time-travels to various times and places. His base point is the Japan of 170 years ago. His time was when the country was under governmental enforced national isolation. I see some similarities between one’s process of knowing and living with very limited information about other countries. There are many parallels between him and myself, but he is not my alter ego. I use him to see the world more objectively through his subjective view, yet some traces of my subjectivity are not denied in my works.