Artist Hiroko Okahashi, who uses "Maya" as her artist name because she was born under the Maya mountain in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, is exhibiting her mixed media, silk screens, photographs, watercolors and poems at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center from September 10 to November 24, 2010.
At the exhibition opening on September 23, for which she dressed as the Wisteria Maiden (see photo above) in honor of her recent life-size work by that title, I had an opportunity to talk with Maya about two of her recent life-size pieces, which capture the richness of Japanese mythology through the use of watercolor, fabric, and other media.
"Wisteria Maiden is inspired by a Kabuki dance story of 'Fuji Musume,' which took place in the city of Otsu, famous for its paintings. While strolling through the art-lined streets of the city, a passerby's eye was caught by the painting of the Wisteria Maiden, and as he gazed upon the painting, the Maiden became infatuated with him and came to life."
The other life-size piece, "Musume Dojoji," is based on the drama, "The Maiden at Dojoji Temple." Maya has been working on this piece for the past year, hanging it on the wall of her house and continuing to change and add to it.
In addition to her life-size mixed media pieces, Maya's exhibition includes beautiful watercolors of flowers and other subjects, some including haikus, Japanese poems with seventeen syllables, usually written about nature. Her photographs and prints are mystical, combining human forms with layers of natural patterns and objects, such as water.
Maya has lived in many places, including Cambridge for the past ten years, and her work captures the richness of mythology, nature, and the artist's imagination. This correspondent highly recommends that you take advantage of this show.