Can you tell us about your background? How does your cultural background impact you?
I’m an Asian-Latino raised in a mixed-race family, my mom is Colombian, and my dad is Japanese. My family background allowed me to experience the intricate beauty of both cultures. As a half-Japanese woman, I lived in Japan, one of the most homogeneous countries in the world. Until 3 years ago, I decided to move to the United States to start a new chapter in my life.
I kept searching for a sense of belonging for a long time. I have always questioned my nationality, ethnicity, and even physical appearance. These forced me to develop my own “place,” where I can be Japanese, Colombian, or whomever I want to be without worrying about other people’s opinions or expectations.
I think my personality is not reflected in my work but my inner self. I’m shy and do not always show my emotions and feelings. However, my artworks reveal my vision of the world – an energetic world full of colourful aspects.
Are there any particular reasons for creating Japanese Edo girls as the main characters in your artwork?
I created Japanese Edo girls as the main characters to represent the people during the Edo period while Japan had severely limited relations and trade between other foreign countries. So the Japanese Edo girls in my work portray the traditional Japanese characters experiencing the foreign influence on their life and culture while contacting the western world for the first time.
What inspires you and which inspiration sources do you use?
Art and fashion are my biggest inspirations. Ever since I was a kid, I have loved art and fashion. So I love to feature my favourite fashion brands and fashion styles in my artwork. Also, as a textile designer, it is always fun to design clothing and textile patterns.
I can do what I love and wake up every day with a sense of purpose. I also think that my artworks showcase the possibility of a different reality, where being different is ok. We are all beautiful in our way. It’s all about your willingness to see.
Sayuri is a Japanese artist with strong Latin American roots. Her childhood swayed within the beauty and richness of the Japanese and Colombian cultures; a mixture of flavors and colors that awoke a true passion for art and its power to convey deep social and personal feelings. This effervescent drive led to her enrollment at Tokyo Metropolitan Senior High School of Fine Arts, culminating in her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Textile Art & Design at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan. Shortly after graduation, Sayuri moved to the US to pursue a career as a pop art artist and textile designer.