Hiroshima-born artist Kaoru Kushima began to draw to process the effects of interpersonal trauma. Influenced by Japanese avant-garde painters and manga, Kushima creates abstract and figurative drawings in colored pencil and ink. She forms intricate, yet delicate compositions of lines and circles as well as floral and animal motifs. Her subjects borrow the ethereal, dream-like quality of Pre-Raphaelite women; suspended between an earthly and angelic plane. Naked and vulnerable, their every vein and muscle exposed, they offer themselves to the world unreservedly. Through her own healing journey, Kushima offers a message of universal love and acceptance. She says “I wish to communicate that, even when you are desperate, although you may not be aware of it, oceans of love support you and, thanks to love, you survive.”
Entirely self-taught, Kushima describes herself as an outsider artist. Over the past few years, she has showcased her work in Asia, Europe, and Australia. Most notably, Kushima received an Excellence Award at the Geoje International Art Festival, in South Korea, as part of an exhibition at the Haegeumgang Theme Museum in Geoje.