I'm a shy person... not all that comfortable talking to strangers. I spend most of my time studying/writing/painting/thinking. I've never been a party animal... not even when I was a student at university. So, I was a bit nervous about getting up in front of a group of people to deliver a two-hour illustrated talk, which is what I did on Wednesday evening. People were paying good money to hear what I had to say, and I had images of not being able to utter any word other than 'rhubarb' before coughing for ten minutes and then choking on the water intended to rid me of that cough. However, I had an absolutely wonderful time at the Museum of East Asian Art in Bath. I even had the opportunity to do my 'figure of eight walk' (the special steps used by a Yoshiwara courtesan when processing in the pleasure quarter of Edo in 18th century japan). I have a mission in life... perhaps this is an obsession too (most things surrounding Japanese prints are with me)... to introduce people to this wonderful art form, and to inspire not just an appreciation for the images, but also a desire to know more about the subject matter depicted. Japanese prints are so much more than pretty pictures... they are absolutely fascinating (ok, I am biased).
I don't usually post reviews or endorsements on this blog, but I had such a good time, and it was such an excellent evening... and, to be honest, I am just so thoroughly thrilled with the feedback I've received, that I am going to post the feedback I received from the museum because I'm still giddy from it all and haven't come down to earth yet:
'Gina Collia-Suzuki gave a mesmerising talk at the Museum of East Asian Art regarding Utamaro's depictions of real-life Japanese men and women, focusing on his series of ill-fated lovers. Spell-binding the audience, her presentation was original and gave a fresh, entertaining and at times amusing perspective on the material at hand. Thanks to Gina’s dry wit and compelling commentary a good time was had by all. In the days since the talk compliments have been received by the Museum from audience members, who are eager for another talk, which we hope Gina will be good enough to grace us with in the future!
Many thanks Gina!
Linsi Parker-Turner. Events and Publicity Officer, Museum of East Asian Art.'
I have dry wit... who knew?!
Causes Gina Collia-Suzuki Supports
The World Wildlife Fund
Cancer Research UK