We had the good fortune of connecting with Harumi Abe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harumi, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
This year since the pandemic, I started to homeschool my daughter and also her friends. This was a big change that I was not planning but I love how I can witness her growth in first hand. I also enjoy researching books and topics each week. This has certainly affected my studio time but I make sure to continue creating my own work too. I’m accepting that this moment is as it is and trying to enjoy it as much as I can. Like most parents today, I’m not certain how much impact this year has created to my child yet.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am originally from Saitama Japan and have been living in South Florida half of my life. I make landscape paintings inspired from places I have been. My paintings are often loosely autobiographical. Inspiration comes from everyday experiences, looking at sunlight reflected on the wall, walking my dog in the neighborhood, watching my daughter play in the backyard secluded from any of the turmoil happening in today’s reality. The current series I’ve been working on the past few years is called Shakkei which is a Japanese term for Borrowed scenery. It is the principle of “incorporating background existing landscape into the composition of a garden” often seen in traditional East Asian garden design. The window becomes a framing device and the harmony of borrowed scenery is achieved by those layered compositions viewed from inside of a building. I incorporate this idea in my paintings and view a canvas as a window looking over an imaginary garden. I layered images of Florida, the landscape of Japan with my own interpretation and memories which result in emotional hybrid abstracted landscapes. By creating these paintings by borrowing aspects of the regions, I’m searching for a meaningful connection to the places now I call home. In terms of the challenges that I have now is balancing parenting and studio time. I’ve met so many brilliant students and artists who have stopped making work. I think continuing to work is the half of the battle.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
It is hard to recommend places to go during pandemic except nature. I like going to southside of Hollywood beach during weekdays and Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State park (Dania Beach) for quiet beach time. I also like Fern Forest Nature Center (Coconut Creek) for nature walks. I have not had chance to eat at restaurant almost a year but my recent favorite restaurant is Wabi-Sabi by Shuji in Miami. I’d not miss visiting the Rubell Museum and Perez Art Museum. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This year I must give shoutout to the first responders and all the people working in the grocery store and farms that provides food.
Coral Contemporary Gallery Harumi Abe