Hiromi Katayama will never forget the moment when she found a single, small cherry blossom tree outside her studio during her first year of study in the United States. She has never missed Japan as much as she did in that moment. The experience triggered an intense memory of home which invoked very strong emotions. Katayama now uses the cherry blossom tree in her artwork as both a symbol of where she comes from, as well as an iconic symbol of Japanese culture. Since Japan's natural disaster, Katayama has yearned for the resiliency so often seen in nature. Her paintings represent a wish to exist with nature and culture in a harmonious relationship - not only as the person she is, but also as the person she will become.
Katayama's paintings are created in the Japanese traditional painting technique. She imports most of her painting materials, such as Japanese traditional pigments and animal-based collagen glue. Most of her artwork is painted on wooden panels or paper, which she has used to also create Japanese style screens.
Katayama, a native of Ibarki Japan, currently works from her private studio in Houston Pennsylvania. Her love for art began in the studio of her mentor, Renjoin Sensei, from the age of nine years old. Before she came to the United States, Katayama received her BFA in Japanese Traditional Painting from Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo Japan, in 2008. That summer, Katayama traveled to Pennsylvania where she studied for her MFA in the painting program at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She graduated in May, 2012. At the close of her graduate studies, Katayama continued building her portfolio, gained international representation, and taught in both academic and community-based settings around the country. At the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach Florida, Katayama expanded the 2D arts program. In Washington PA, Katayama brought a global perspective to Junior-Senior High Schools through the RAC grant program. This fall, Katayama joined the art department at Wheeling Jesuit University where she will teach drawing and painting classes to students from all academic disciplines.
View images from Katayama's 2019 BoxHeart Exhibition, Currents of Color.