CM: Eva Mitala is generally interest in countries with respect to native tradition - such as Greece, Japan, even Cuba. Thus developed Mitala's obsession with Japan, which progresses, while preserving an organic relationship with its manners and customs. When visiting Japan Mitala keeps visual diaries, which she fills with drawings and collages. The present work has been executed with a feel for such a diary. It concerns the story of Kimiko, based on life, as given in the tales of Lafcadio Hearn.
Kimiko was a very beautiful girl living with her mother. Pushed by great poverty she learned dance to survive and support her family. Thus, the painter represented her dancing in various positions, made of graphite against a colorless checkerboard pattern. Later she became rich working as a geisha, and her name appeared on paper lantern at the entrance of a house on the road with the geishas. He works now as a geisha. The picture conceals her because ahead of her walks the maid w ho leads her way. Mitala shows Kimiko's beautiful face on the large red circle, referencing the sun of the East. At some stage she gets to meet a rich man who falls in love with her. In the background appears the luxurious garden that he offers her. Kimiko delays the marriage because, given her humble past, she doe not want to appear attracted to his wealth. Therefore, she advises the man to become happy with another woman worthy of him. Kimiko leaves him and chooses to become a nun. Thus, she appears with her back turned to material goods looking toward the Shinto Temple, which symbolizing a fresh start in life. As she appears r id of color, Mitala adorns her with a colourful band dyed in blue of spirituality and purple of mourning.
Faithful to her love of Japanese art Mitala uses the traditional empty space for the image's background. The diversity of techniques she applies relates to the different emphasis that the artist chooses to give to the story's circumstances. Mitala mounted on the picture's side the photographed figure Lafcadio observing with admiration the story of Kimiko unfold. The photo graph presents Lafcadio at the age of 40 in 1891 in Matsue wearing his new formal Kimono on the occasion of his first 'Shogatsu', the New Year in Japan. Such traditional appearance betrays Lafcadio's intention to embrace the Japanese tradition and to become one with Japan. Mitala finds the story of Kimiko beautifully achieves its target - like in general stories involving geishas - to provoke thought. It is worth noting that the geishas had foremost artistic concerns and in this respect relate to the 'hetaerae' of ancient Greece.
[Megakles Rogakos 02/2009]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES The Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn 2009 The American College of Greece - ACG Art, Athens