Our Face of Ours is Revealed in the New Year

By Jennifer Jean Okumura | January 30, 2021

Art and its ability to elevate people inspire me and how I perceived 2020 felt like every day for creatives. On some level, art is life—telling a story or simply creating is our lives.

As artists, we are in tune with the activity of those, both past and present, who push the envelope to the maximum of what is defined as art. Life’s honest words can best be summed up in a line by Jorge Luis Borges (from Dreamtigers), “Art must be like that mirror, that reveals to us this face of ours.” For 2020, open and honest imagery and words were a way to express oneself—it was vital, not just therapeutic. It revealed our thirst for world stories never told; this became a 2020 mission and the essence of our heartfelt pandemic narratives of resilience, healing, solidarity, and freedom.


Jennifer Jean Okumura, Knots of the mind, démasquer’ oil on canvas, 60″x48″ 2020


“Knots of the mind, démasquer” is a NOW art piece, not just physically but psychologically and spiritually. My frequent exploration of the relationships among humans, nature, and objects. “Knots of the mind, démasquer” is an objective homage to my Eastern and Western traditions and to the raw architecture and sounds of the city — adding conflict, balance and harmony to shape the work’s form and energy in my constant search for new noise, passion and sometimes what is misconceived in our cultures. She captures the intimate moment between the viewer and artist with intrigue and brutal honesty. This piece comes from the series Knots of the Mind and  explores the ongoing melee between the heart and the mind, complicated by love, hunger, power, doubt. Knots bind — like an embrace? As a restraint? Twisted strands of thought and feeling in our souls. Should we leap or remain motionless?


Jennifer Jean Okumura, As I Breathe, I Hope diptych, oil on canvas, 50″x50″ 2020


As long as I am able to create art, write, and experience the joys of life—an optimistic outlook—then I have achieved that balance. I believe our life’s journey consists of always learning, experiencing, and pushing ourselves to reach for more. It is an ongoing narrative where I hope to always be surrounded by honest critics, and people who are inspiring and stimulated in their own lives. Ultimately  hope and believing is a driving force in 2021. Hope the frailness in emotions, the memories in our heads, the damages left in our hearts from 2020 but ultimately hope and believing for ourselves and humanity as we make our way through the time of Corona.  It captures the beauties of what we call life, all that is love and art.

Copyright © 2021 Jennifer Jean Okumura
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  1. Ellen Bennett on January 31, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    Your work and words are a gift. As we look inward, there is magic.

  2. Jennifer Jean Okumura on February 1, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Thank you, Ellen. So appreciative of your warm thoughts and for this wonderful platform for creatives.

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