1st of April 2016
First Day of the Rest of my Life

On the 1st of April 2016 my family and I landed on Narita Airport and within 3 hours we were in our new apartment in Sophia Soshigaya International House dormitory in Kamisoshigaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo. The following five months would help me to come to terms with myself and the world. It would help me to become less angry and more accepting towards Life as it is. This change would not miraculously happen in those five months and I would struggle upon our return to our life in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to accept the change. It does seem that I am talking about two lives but it is one in- continuity life, a life of mine.  The pinnacle of this metamorphosis would happen on my 40th birthday in September 2017 when I fully understood the change that I had to make and go through.  I went into a cocoon state and by December I was ready to go out of it. On the 1st of April 2018 I started a shared atelier with a group of colleagues. Since day one I knew that change I chose was a change for good. Now, I am in my own atelier, fully equipped and stocked with artist materials. Anshin, anshin.

In 2020 I started with two new paintings, Lemon (Everything in Its Right Place), one dedicated to the state of life and My Neighbor Godzilla (Arukou, Arukou, Watashi wa Genki) dedicated to our life in Soshigaya. I am planning to do 4 more canvases and 2 diorama paintings in the next few weeks. I am just waiting for the sunshine. After that I will be working on diorama paintings exhibition. As always, I will make updates on my website with finished works.

Now, based on the images of these two paintings you might think that they were Corona Pandemic inspired, but they are absolutely not related to this at all. The only thing that Corona did for them is that I had to use GUNDAMMARKERs instead of my painter markers because the shop that sells them is closed and I ran out of them. Don´t get me wrong- my life is affected by Corona Pandemic as everyone else’s is. There is a real danger, this is not common flu, it is really heavy lung disease, it will maybe become a common flu once we develop a vaccine or cure or gain our immunity for it. My country is now for more than 20 days in lock down and kids are forbidden to go out. Unfortunately, democracy is here too, so majority of idiots tend to make things harder for everyone else exercising their freedom to hoard food and sanitary supplies or to travel and walk around helping virus to spread. I am accustomed to be at home and I use this time now to make it easier for my children to cope with new situation.  I cook, I always do, and when I go to atelier, I go by bike, not meeting anyone and at atelier I am alone, which I usually am.  What I do miss is having espresso at our local café and I am sad that the kids have to stay at home  all of the time. In Sarajevo it is forbidden for children below age of 18 and adults older than 65 to go out and there is a curfew from 8 p.m.  to 5 a.m..  It did help to slow down the spread of virus and we have already put down two clusters that made a major number of infected in the very beginning.

Now, I will not write a list of movies and TV shows about epidemics.  I would like to recommend two Japanese movies that I saw this year and both of them are absolutely fantastic.

The first is Mori, the Artist’s Habitat (2018), about Japanese painter Morikazu Kumagai life secluded in his house and garden.

The second I Go Gaga, My Dear (2018) a very emotional “documentary” made of collection of homemade videos edited together that show life of Naoko Nobutomo (director) and her parents dealing with their old age.

Those two will help you remember who you are and who  you are protecting in this time of Pandemic.

Peace, love

Udon and sake


pS. This is not like war at all. I lived through one and this is not it.