Shimodo displays the ‘way of the brush’

PO‘IPU — Fusion is defined in popular music that is a blend of two styles, especially when jazz is combined with either rock or classical music, or ethnic elements like Brazilian or Japanese.

According to dictionary.com, where the above definition came from, fusion of food “combines usually widely differing ethnic or regional ingredients, styles or techniques.”

In these senses, fusion could be used to describe the art, nay, the life of artist L.J.C. Shimoda, who opened her first show on Kaua‘i Monday at Roy’s Bar and Grill in the Po‘ipu Shopping Village.

“We’ve lived here for three years,” Shimoda said. “Two years have been an incubation period for me. This is my first show since moving here.”

Shimoda said the show by Arius Hopman at Roy’s prompted her to call the restaurant, and together they worked on a date.

That coincided perfectly with Shimoda’s plans since the show that opened Monday will run through May 5.

On the heels of the closing, Shimoda said she’ll be opening a show at the Kaua‘i Museum gallery to run through the summer.

The difference between the two shows is that the one at Roy’s features prints from Shimoda’s original work that has been strongly influenced through her study of shodo, or Japanese “way of the brush.”

When her show opens at the Kaua‘i Museum, it will feature her original works.

“It was so good of the Roy’s staff to let me create the space,” Shimoda said. “I’ve been an artist all my life, but after studying shodo, I can find my way in life with my brush.”

Although the traditional shodo is rooted in calligraphy, Shimoda incorporated the strokes and movements into her abstract presentations resulting in strong expressions and interpretation of life.

“She creates a language all her own through her powerful brushstrokes,” according to shimodaworks.com.

That language is enhanced through the use of various rice paper and colors ranging from the subdued to strong.

Add the natural lighting of Roy’s Bar and Grill, and Shimoda’s work takes on life on the walls — more fusion.

“My husband and I visited Kaua‘i about 10 years ago, and since that time, this is the only place that felt like home,” she said while seated with some books, a Japanese inkset and her big Japanese brush set squarely across a paper bearing the word “Shodo.”

Shimoda said her husband Todd is a writer and she has graced the pages of two of his works. A third book nearby is a journal depicting her growth after discovering shodo.

Taking inspiration from Asian pictographs and using a Japanese shodo brush, Shimoda explains how to use 66 ordinary English words as prompts for meditation, writing and drawing, states the publisher’s forward to “Glyphix for Visual Journaling,” the artist’s journal.

“I can say things better visually,” Shimoda said. “My husband writes and somewhere the art brings everything together.”

But the Fusion Art of L.J.C. Shimoda is one of experience … for now, at Roy’s where fine art/fine cuisine, contemporary/traditional, East/West and innovative/seasoned come together.

For more information, visit www.shimodaworks.com.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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