Jessamyn Hoshikawa emigrated from Japan to the United States when she was eighteen years old. This fact is critical to understanding her work, which offers an authentic fusion of both Japanese and American styles. Many artists have attempted to infuse Asian influences into their art, but none succeed in doing it as organically as Hoshikawa. Although she never set out to “break the rules,” she is certain that “it is not the traditional calligraphy/Sumi-e painting.”
When she gets an idea for a scene that has a simplistic and minimal appeal, she works in the monochromatic, calligraphic style. But when dealing with layers of emotional complexity, she switches to oil, making vibrant works which depart not only in technique, but subject matter — creating imagined landscapes and images that seem to be in the midst of a fantastical story.
Her work is influenced by tapping into the unconscious. Curious about the connection between dreams and art, she has practiced “lucid dreaming” techniques, which, with training, allow a person to control their actions in a dream-state by being aware they’re in a dream. She states, however, “I am sure that what I express in my art is what I want to see.”
Hoshikawa has exhibited widely on the east coast, and her book, Nostalgic Ink Strokes, features her recent works.