Biography

WATANABE Ruri

Ruri was born in Aichi Prefecture.

She was a little absent-minded as a child; she ate slowly, got lost easily, and was always leaving something behind. That was not because she was in another world but because she was busy chasing feelings in her inner world, putting emotions before words.

From that point up until now, her mission has been to precisely find and express her core self.

In her childhood, she moved a lot and went to three different elementary schools because of her father’s work. To find something that could not change even if the environment changed, she immersed herself into reading and drawing.

At the age of ten, she was taken to a hospital with an unexplained high fever. Fortunately, she completely recovered in a month but was baffled by the reality that some children helplessly died quite young in the child ward.

To combat the sense of emptiness, the only thing she could do was to keep drawing pictures.

After growing up, she attended university majoring in American literature. Then, drifting between the fantasy and reality, she moved to Tokyo to enter graduate school.

There, she was stuck studying literature and had difficulty in getting along with professors and schoolmates. Being deep in depression, she suddenly started creating a series of abstract images called mandala. The images drawn freehand with a superfine pointed pen showed her subtle and profound world. With this creative force, her state of mind and reality had changed slightly over time.

Soon after, she quit school and, after studying translation at a technical school and gaining some work experience, she became a translation proofreader.

Some years later, in a bookstore, she happened to find a book on Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung that said, “mandala (meaning “circle” in Sanskrit) is a spiritual symbol that is spontaneously created as a work of art in a process of self-healing.” She was surprised to find that the same happened to her.

Through this mysterious experience, she was attracted by the power of unconsciousness. By connecting herself to the power, she pursues a wide range of creative activities from poetry to illustration to picture books, believing that by visualizing one’s imagination, one can access the true state of being.

渡邉瑠璃

愛知県生まれ

彼女はおっとりした子どもに見えた。よく迷子になったり、忘れ物をしたり、食べるのも遅かった。それは感覚-空の匂いや、風の色、まだ言葉になる前の気持ち-を追いかけるのに忙しかったから。そして見えないものを形にすること、それが彼女の命題となった。

空想の世界に片足を入れたまま大人になり、将来について不安に苛まれ精神的に不安定な日々を送る中、Mandalaという作品に代表される一連のイメージ画を描き始める。下書きすることなく極細のペンで紡ぎだされる繊細かつ大胆な世界。どうしてそのようなイメージが湧いてくるのかわからないまま、ひたすら描き続けるうちになぜか身も心も安定し、進むべき道も見出すことができた。

それから時が流れたある日、本屋で偶々目にしたユングの本の一節に彼女は驚く。そこには「円形の図(Mandala)は心が統合しようとする自己治癒の過程で生じてくるもの」と書かれており、彼女の経験を裏付けるものだった。

こうして「目に見えない世界(イメージ)の力」に魅せられた彼女は、今日もイラストから詩作、絵本にいたるまで幅広い制作を続けている。想像を創造することで内なる自己に出会えると信じて。