Writer: Masahito Ono

I recently spent two nights backpacking in a mountain just an hour north of New York City. You might think a lot of what I talk about here is not related to art. But bear with me, because I think they are. You cannot make art by just studying or looking at art. I personally see art as an act of connecting dots and art emerges from what we experience in this very society and the earth.

I enjoy exploring nature. I enjoy exploring many places and things. In summer, I often do scuba diving and go hiking in a mountain. I leave the big noisy city and go to some place where it is calm and quiet. I think less when I’m near the nature and I feel more. What it makes me feel is not how big the nature is but how small we humans are.

Until the mid-20th century it seems, humans were very much part of the nature. We lived in and with nature. But nowadays, it feels like we are visiting nature as if it is another world. I’m curious how it became that way. Aren’t we like a young child who once left his home, and always remembered and missed the days he/she spent at home and now wanting to go back? Perhaps we don’t realize when we are losing something. We only realize when that something is actually lost. I was probably the last generation in Japan to enjoy the great nature in our real life. I wonder if there will be anything left for the future generations to experience and enjoy. Or are they going to be busy looking at smartphones like we are becoming and say "doesn’t matter?" If I ever have a child, I’ll take him/her to the ocean and to the mountains, to show how small we are.