Artist Statement: Chiharu Roach

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I was born and bred in Nagoya City, Japan. In childhood I struggled to understand love due to my mother’s twisted affection and loneliness. I couldn’t find myself and I felt a cruel emptiness inside. As a result 15 years ago I came to Birmingham, Alabama to find freedom. In fact I found that there isn’t freedom but a lot of limitations. At first I was a stranger, an alien from another planet who could not speak or understand the language. I decided to go to school to learn English for communication. Then I was getting see what I couldn’t see before; there are a lot of gaps between others and me due to discriminations and stereotypes of Asian girls. I began to create art to express my mind without using the sound of speech.
I have always been interested in the human mind. I studied Children psychology at the university I attended in Japan. In my Tangled Hair Series, I’m symbolizing the different memories, feelings, and behaviors our minds create that affect our lives.
I create each piece of art by first making a pencil outline. After it is complete I paint artist acrylics on wood panels and rice paper from my native Japan. I use fine brushes as they allow me to achieve the detail I require and the ability to paint each strand of hair.

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