Hi, Visiting Spirits Ⅱ

Mika Shimauchi

Hi, Visiting Spirits Ⅱ, 2023, Acrylic paint on canvas, H273 × W220 × D20mm (F3) 
The image courtesy of the artist

Mendon, the visiting spirit in Iwo Island, Tokyo, Japan, is depicted in an advertising style.

About series of the visiting spirits

As a symbol of recovery from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake, Mifune-machi attracted Costco (USA's warehouse supermarket) to the affected area, and it emerged in 2021. People grabbing hot dogs, drinking large juices and pulling oversized shopping carts.
It was big news locally in Kumamoto, and we welcomed Costco.
It looked like Santa Claus, a visiting sprit from the sea who gave grace to those of us affected. On the other hand, I realized that there are Distorted power balance between Japan and the US still now since after the world warⅡ.
While I feel uncomfortable that Mayor of Mifune-machi did indeed use the term "symbol of reconstruction," it also makes me think that the Sirens (characters) of Starbucks and the characters of McDonald's may have been visiting sprits. (Though they don't go back yet)
 As I look at the benefits that this brings, and how the landscape is unconsciously becoming Americanized, I have mixed feelings about whether this is a good thing.
The reason I became interested in the visiting sprits was that I started living in southern Kyushu, where the culture of the visiting sprits remains. As I research Boze (Akuseki-jima Island), Mendon (Iwo-jima Island), etc., I am reminded of the hidden wild and feel elated when I see the wild beauty and their violent side such as rampage and beating. They are both inside (a part of me, an indigenous existence) and outside (deities from outside). In addition, there seems to be a hint of how we will cope with and coexist with the awe-inspiring things that came from outside, and in August, we will research Boze, the visiting sprits of Akuseki-jima Island, and plan to produce a large-scale planar work.

Editor: Aura Contemporary Art Foundation