This book is an art essay about the interwoven souls of painter Furukawa and sculptor Mashima. It tells stories about their dignity as artists, their fulfilling but financially difficult early days, and their eventual success in NYC, along with photos of their artworks and memorable moments.
Not only did the couple live far apart, in New York and Tokyo, they were also thirty years apart in age. They first met at a gallery in Ginza, and then again in NYC. After Akiko returned to Japan, Yoshishige began his daily international calls to her in Japan. He would say, “Why don’t you move in with me?” and “I need you in my life.”
Giving in to his proposals, the author (Mashima) left her stable life as an art teacher and moved to NYC. They lived in an apartment and studio complex for artists in Greenwich Village. Their life in the city began by just making ends meet, to the extent of gathering the coins Yoshishige had deliberately scattered on the floor of the studio for times of need. Finally getting noticed as artists took years of visiting galleries in SoHo. Thus, when the time finally came for them to be recognized as artists, they were both ecstatic.
The book is about the story of their life—from the period when they were poor artists in NYC, to Isamu Noguchi’s visit to their studio, to the time they returned to Japan and lived a peaceful life, which inevitably ended in Yoshishige’s death at a nursing home. The pure and passionate way they lived, depicted as if the reader were seeing a movie, is encouraging and inspiring.
The Author’s Profile: Akiko Mashima, Sculptor.
1952 Born in Saga, Japan.
1971 Graduated from Saga Prefectural Saga Nishi High School.
1976 Graduated from Musashino Art University, BFA in Sculpture.
1976-77 Worked as an art teacher at Mitaka City 5th Elementary School, Tokyo.
1977 Began holding solo and group exhibitions.
1978 Moved to New York City.
1978-79 Studied at Brooklyn Museum Art School, NYC.
1978-80 Studied at Art Students League of NYC.
1996- Began holding solo exhibitions at OK Harris Works of Art, NYC.
2001-08 Worked as a part-time lecturer at Kyushu Sangyo University, Fukuoka.
2002-03 Served as Special Lecturer at Musashino Art University, Sculpture Laboratory Open to All Majors.
Lives and works in NYC and Kanagawa, Japan.