I have the good fortune of being able to teach English to a wide variety of people. My youngest student is three years old, my oldest is about seventy. My students come from a huge variety of backgrounds. I teach primary (elementary) school students, University students, regular office workers, TV personalities, company executives and large company owners. One of my favourite students is an artist. Her name is Eriko Kawai and she is a fantastic person. Whenever she appeared on my schedule, I knew I would be in for an absolutely enjoyable lesson! Before a lesson one day I managed to find her website and surprised her by bringing it up at the start of our lesson. I am not an art lover, but there were a number of pieces on her website that I was impressed with! A couple that I would be happy to have on my wall!
She recently finished studying English (without me knowing) and then had an exhibition of some of her works. I decided that I wanted to head along and have a look so I went along with another of her teachers, Jarrett, and one of the Japanese staff of the school that I work at, Kazue. The exhibition was in a cafe (Dada Cafe) in Yoyogi, near Harajuku and Shibuya.
We arrived at Yoyogi station and messaged Jarrett, who had already arrived, and he made his way to the station to meet us and we walked off in the direction of the cafe. We got there and it was in a really nice old style house that Eriko informed us, used to be a kimono shop. We sat down and ordered a couple of dishes and drinks.
Cucumber and miso paste.
Some Japanese pickles,
and a great avocado salad ordered by Jarrett. Sorry the photo is not so good.
But onto the real reason we were here, Eriko's art. She apologised to me for not coming in for a lesson because she had been so busy making new pieces for this exhibition. I will let Eriko's art do the talking from now!
Eriko explained that she owns a black cat as a pet and the cat features in a lot of her paintings.
She also explained that when artists paint portraits (of no particular person) the paintings often take on the look of the artist themselves. I checked a couple of her portraits, and they definitely looked similar to Eriko!
Eriko told me that she is heading off to Melbourne to study more about art, so please, if you live in Melbourne and find out about any exhibitions by an artist called Eriko Kawai, please go along to have a look and support one of my friends!
I left that night wishing Eriko all the best and so proud that one of my students was about to start a big adventure where the English that I had taught her would be so important.
Good luck Eriko, I know you will do great!
Thanks again for reading. I appreciate you allowing me to write about something that is personally close to me.
See you next time!
Update January 5th 2016: Eriko is currently at the University of Arts London for the next 2 years, so if you are into the arts scene in London and see that Eriko is having an exhibition, please get along and have a look at her work and tell her that Jason sent you!