THE BATHTUB AS A SANCTUARY...

As a Japanese grew up in Japan with Japanese family, bathtub and bathing has been always special space and time for me. The bathtub in my house to me is one of the most private spaces in the house. I think it is same to many people with bathing culture. What is important about this is that it “makes me feel so”.

Bathtub is a place in our house where it makes us feel the securest and the most private, solitude, and it is a secluded space in our house, it has that feeling... perhaps more than our own room. It makes us feel so because of our action of being naked, it tricks our brain to think it must be very safe.

 

I think our own action of being naked that tricks our brain to think it must be safe. In a bathtub, we stop being conscious of others eyes. And we are held in the warm water, like like before we are born.

 

But bathtub has privacy only in these two conditions together: when we are there alone, and when we feel alone.
When we have no phone, when we are not connected to the outside, when it seems we are left out by the world that is constantly moving forward and changing, when though we do not feel loneliness in that environment because we know it is only momentary.

 

In the bathtub we reveal the most relaxed ourselves, awake, if we excluded the time when we are sleeping. But it is unseen, we think.

 

I like painting bathtub. I think artists who paint bathing share similar reasons to painters such as Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Alfred George Stevens (1817-75), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), and so on. To me, it is one way of connecting the inside and outside. It is, in real life, very difficult to see this state of somebody or to show this state of ourselves to somebody, because we reveal our unguarded vulnerable selves because of the sense of isolation from the rest of the world. I think it is only possible in art.

 

I heard from a physician one day that cooling body helps the pain, while warming body helps the healing. I think it is true. Body should heal faster in the spouting season than in the winter. How about our heart then?