by Zolton in New Illustration on Wednesday 22 November 2006

I interviewed award winning New York-based, Japanese illustrator Yuko Shimizu a little while back and asked her whether she missed living in Japan and if she thought her cross-cultural heritage has influenced her artwork? ‘No I don’t. I haven’t gone back to Japan since I moved to New York in 1999. I partially grew up in upstate New York, and after I went back to Japan in the 80s, I couldn’t adjust back to their culture anymore. I was just waiting for the right time to get out, and I did, and I don’t miss it. I have to admit that my genes have an accumulation of Japanese history and culture, and it comes out in my work whether I like it or not. At first, I hated it and tried to get out of it. After a while I decided to admit who I am and just let my work be the way it should be. After that, it became easier to create. Sometimes people think I am drawing and using colour certain ways to stress my Japanese background, but it is not how it is. I don’t even think about it. It just works out that way’. [see also Yuko Shimizu; Deanne Cheuk]