The idea of the treasure ship comes from an old Japanese custom. During the Edo Period, a vendor would go to each village selling small woodblock prints of takarabune, a treasure ship, at new year’s time. The small print would be placed under your pillow on new year’s eve to bring good dreams and good fortune for coming year. On the ship are the Shichi Fukujin, the seven lucky gods of good fortune. Among them, there is only one woman. So, I unloaded the men and kept Sarasvati.
I was 36 years old when I created this series and it was a very dramatic time for me. I had become very ill and had to change my diet to a macrobiotic one. I ate the grains and vegetables – suddenly the colors of my palette became more vivid and alive, as if I had taken off colored sunglasses. I was getting filled with an inner strength that was a new spiritual awakening of myself.