Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Hiroko Sakai

Hiroko Sakai

"When we tap into our powers of imagination, we are blooms of possibilities."

Hiroko Sakai


Today's entry is about San Francisco poet and visual artist, Hiroko Sakai, whose panoplay of work is a fusion of Japanese and Western cultures. I feel a sense of visual respit when I look at Hiroko's work, an ordered tranquility.

Born in Izuka City, Japan, Hiroko's work hangs thoughout the Bay Area as well as in many locations in Japan. Shis represented by Cityart Gallery, Artist XChange Gallery, Aranciatamera, Mad River Post Gallery and the Yuri Shiller Gallery.

30" x 30"
oil on canvas

The artist states:

I was born in a small town of northern Kyushu island of Japan in early Spring. I was a shy kid. I liked looking for fairies in grass and reading adventure stories from my gigantic book case. My parents were great patrons of cultures and art and made sure I had many opportunities to grow artistically. It seemed like I have been painting and drawing from my first breath. My school note books are filled with drawings.

Yume - Dream
oil on canvas

My professional art career started in the graphic arts field in Fukuoka, Japan in the early 1990s. After graduating from Seinan Gakuin University with a BA degree in French and Nihon interior design school with a BA degree in design and rendering, I founded Atelier Yume-Tsumugi Ltd. I operated that studio successfully for 5 years. I emphasized working on a variety of projects with varying requirements rather than a distinct style. Many of my works are displayed in hospital lobbies, corporate offices, and commercial building entrances in Japan.

Boukyo - Nostalgia
oil on canvas

In 1998, I broadened the scope of my endeavors to include projects in the United States. In the US, I decided to start concentrate on oil painting. I had always wanted to paint with oils in Japan, but slow drying oils were not realistic with the short deadlines of my commercial clients. Now I could do it.

oil on canvas

San Francisco, with its vibrant arts culture, became my second home and was a source of much inspiration. For a while, I felt disadvantaged because I was a foreigner learning a second language. Now I know that my differences are my strength and I can combine my Japanese and San Francisco backgrounds to produce powerful and unique art works.

15" x 18"
chalk on paper

I believe that I am one of the happiest creatures in the world because I have found what I am meant to do on this Earth and what I want to do from now on.

18" x 15"
pencil on paper

Please click here for more information about Hiroko Sakai.


I received the following from Julia Zagar this morning about the film her son made about his legendary mosaic master father, Isaiah Zagar:

It has been an exciting few weeks since the World Premiere of In A Dream last month at the SXSW Film Festival. The movie has screened at a couple more festivals and it is now three for three—it has won an award at every festival in which it has screened.

Philadelphia Film Festival
After four sold out screenings, In A Dream received the jury award for Best First Film and the DIVE Technical Achievement Award. In terms of audience balloting, In A Dream tied another documentary as the highest rated of all the films in the entire festival. It scored a 4.81 out of 5.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
In A Dream received the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award at Full Frame—a very prestigious documentary only film festival based in Durham, North Carolina.

Evolution of a Filmmaker: Jeremiah Zagar
The Tribeca Film Institute is hosting an event next week for students and educators at the Soho Apple Store as part of the Tribeca Youth program. The event description: Filmmaker Jeremiah Zagar has been making films since he was a teenager (way back in 1998), and the Tribeca Film Institute is proud to invite students to a special discussion addressing the "Evolution of a Filmmaker." Zagar will present and discuss scenes from his films from the past ten years (Coney Island, 1945; Baby Eat Baby), all leading up to a special presentation of excerpts from his feature-length documentary, the award-winning In A Dream. Together this series of clips and excerpts is designed to show young filmmakers the changes, adaptations (and mistakes!) a filmmaker makes as s/he develops an aesthetic and style that works.

Press / Blogs:

A holdover from the SXSW days:


Join the In A Dream group on Facebook:


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Stacy Alexander