Meera teaches art to children, artists, sannyasins and journalists in Brazil.
Meera came to Brazil this autumn, for the first time, after being invited to give a workshop during the Osheanic Festival. Her presence in Fortaleza triggered further events: a workshop for 60 children with cancer at the Peter Pan clinic, a workshop for 50 artists the following day, and a workshop for another 50 participants from all walks of life. It was topped by a spontaneous exhibition and a talk at the newspaper O Opovo.
The events, dating mid October 2012, have been reported by the newspaper O Opovo and have been translated for you below.
Meera says: “I felt a deep connection with Brazil.” We guess it was not her last visit!
The Sacred Mission of Art
Japanese Artist Meera leads a workshop in Fortaleza about creative expression. Today she meets the kids from the Peter Pan Association, tomorrow an artist’s group from Ceará. Nowadays, Meera leads painting trainings at the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune, India, and in Ibiza.
To know Japanese artist Meera (Kasue Hashimoto) we first must know about her deep affection for a certain Indian flower, whose depiction is recurrent in her paintings. These flowers take a year to get ready to bloom and when they do, they survive for only five hours. “I could paint these flowers all my life. They are so simple, but when I find them, they are so fresh, so strong and they live so briefly that I feel it would be wrong not to paint them,” Meera tells us during an exclusive interview to O Povo while showing part of her recent works.
The artist, who was born in Japan and had studied in Spain, is in Ceará as a guest of the Festival Osheanic 2012 and today teaches the workshop ‘Experience and Awareness of Creative Expression’ to children with cancer, organised by the Association Peter Pan. Over the weekend, she extends the experience to guest artists and employees of Group Communication O Povo. Both experiences at Peter Pan and working with artists from Ceará will be published in two books.
“Art makes me connect with life. When people ask me if I’m an artist I stopped saying yes, because I feel that art is much more than what we understand under art. Art is for the people. Art is a prayer. Art is an expression of life.”
“Art is much more
I’m not here to decorate
nor to entertain.
Art is a bridge to life,
that’s what I do.”
The artist has taken the task of giving back ‘art making’ to everyday people. In her workshops she teaches creative techniques that allow participants to experience art. “I feel that we should not monopolize art only for people with talent. This way the world is going down a wrong path. Art has been taken from the people. I want to give it back to everybody. Art has to go back to the people – it is not just for artists.”
It’s a mistake to think that Meera passes on techniques on how to paint. For her, the important thing is to communicate with our heart and let the energy flow. “Once I heard Osho ask, ‘What is the difference between painting and cleaning?’ I was shocked. How come there is no difference between painting and cleaning? ‘In cleaning, you throw the water and pass the mop. In painting you do the same on the canvas with paint and brush. What is the difference? The difference comes from your experience and not from the idea,’ he explained.”
She credits her master Osho’s teachings which explains how she feels about today’s mission in Fortaleza. “Our life is not our body. This I also learned from Osho. And that’s why I think I have the guts to go to these children who have cancer and paint with them. I am honored to share my work with them. Because some flowers only live for five hours. And they are more beautiful than the permanent flowers.”
Artist shows techniques at O Povo
Yesterday, Espaço O Povo Arte e Cultura welcomed Japanese artist Meera Hashimoto. Meera spoke to the audience about her work, explaining the motivation and meaning of each painting. Moreover, she showed her artistic techniques while painting. She danced and painted in the same rhythm.
She said she loves Brazil. She explained her appreciation and that she always seeks in her paintings “this thing of the forest; it has everything to do with this country.”
“Everything was wonderful; it is very interesting to see how she produces her art and I profited a lot of having been with her,” said Marcia Dias de Alencar, an art therapist.
Meera’s technique is called ‘artistic-creative’. It is a combination of art and meditation, with strong influences from the Indian Zen Buddhist Master Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, better known as Osho. It looks for an artistic expression which is much freer and and sensorial.
Artist brings colours and art to children with cancer
Children who are in constant struggle against cancer wielded brushes, colours and a free mind yesterday. Although it was Children’s Day, it could have been just another day, but the presence of Japanese artist Meera Hashimoto coloured the morning of 50 boys and girls, assisted by the Peter Pan Association (APA).
Meera came from Japan and taught them how to live creatively. She transformed the Pediatric Cancer Center into a studio for little artists. It was the workshop ‘Experience and Flexibility of Creative Expression’, organised by the Democritus Rock Foundation in partnership with APP. Mattresses, Indian paper and many, many cans of paint everywhere, encompassed the creative scenario.
Eyes closed, hugs given, it was time to go to work. Six year old Hezron Sousa Silva arrived quite suspicious. “He had doubts that it would not be good,” whispered his mother Dulce Maria, 45. But there he was, two minutes later, painting a tree with a big trunk and many fruits. “It’s an apple tree,” he explained.
Facing Hezron, another small artist also gave account of nature with well-defined traits. “It will be a mountain range with a sun and a blue sky. I’ll put a little orange too, because I paint the sunset. The landscape turns orange when the sun sets, doesn’t it?” inquired João Pedro Sousa, 14.
And Carina Nascimento, very diplomatically decided to honour the organisation she is part of. “I painted the Peter Pan Association’s symbol to express my gratitude for the people that have taken care of me,” she apologised, from the height of her 15 years, but still keen to be only a child. “I still play with dolls and want to continue playing. I have nothing to do except taking care of my health.” Carina’s grandmother, Enedina Oliveira agreed and praised the moment. “Today, here they are all in heaven.”
Another mother, nearby, was thrilled. “He always wanted to be an artist. Look how beautiful his drawing has come out,” said Maria de Fatima Rodrigues, 52. All she does in her life it to care for her child Richarlyson. “For nearly two years we have fought his disease. He’s better now, you know? We will have more time to do things like this.”
While they were choosing colours and painting, artist Meera Hashimoto suggested: “Put ink on paper, use the water spray and you will see magic happen.”
According to the artist, the type of free painting which she promotes allows to connect with the essence of being human, of being free to create without the interference of the mind. “This is what children have. Parents should not hold them back.”
She added: “If we remember that life happens in the time now and not in the past or the future, we will bring all our sensitivity to this moment and then we will not fear even death.” What did she think about the artistic expression of children here? “I do not think, I live.” (Luar Maria Brandão)
The Peter Pan Association is a non-profit organization focused on curing cancer in young people in Ceará. The goal is to make treatment more humane and happy for children and adolescents.
About the artist
Meera Hashimoto was born in Ishikawa, Japan, in 1947. She studied at Musashino Art University, Tokyo, from 1966 to 1969. In 1970 she began to visit and study art in the European museums and lived in Toledo, Spain. In 1974 she became a disciple of the Indian mystic Osho and began working in India and Japan.
In 1979, at the suggestion of Osho, she established, together with Geetesh Gibson, the Osho Art School giving art workshops for everyone. Meera developed new methods of creative expression and started communities in Amsterdam, Sicily and California. More than 40 Osho books are illustrated with her paintings.
Currently, she runs the painting trainings at the Pune Osho Meditation Resort, India and Ibiza. She also offers workshops for Creativity and Art Therapy.
Painting and Meditation with Meera Hashimoto
Japanese artist Meera Hashimoto gives today, at 19pm, at Espaço O Povo Arte e Cultura, a public presentation of her artistic and creative technique. The method is a combination of art and meditation with strong influences from Indian Buddhist Zen Master Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – better known as Osho – and seeks free artistic expression and sensibility.
“Painting alone for me is like chewing sand, it’s a very strange feeling. Art today is like a lonely stuttering,” says Meera.
The artist, who was in Fortaleza to deliver a series of workshops, is an international art-therapist, giving regular courses in various parts of the world like Greece, Sweden, Spain and Italy, in addition to teaching two months a year in Pune, India where the Osho Meditation Resort is located.
In her method, painting is used as a powerful tool for self-knowledge, which can bring back the freedom of expression of the human being, often repressed in earlier stages of life, such as childhood.
“If you remember that you can express yourself, your life will change a lot. You will never again hear from people that you are not good for anything, that you were born with two left hands,” says Meera.
She herself, she points out, was a young artist, aged 25, when in a moment of ecstasy and creation of one of her works she was reprimanded by a teacher and renowned critic. In a harsh way, he interrupted her work saying that it was not art, but just a childish thing. This event, coupled with the meeting of the guru Osho, made a tremendous impact on her and, years later, culminated in a new concept of art.
“When I showed my paintings to my master Osho, he said nothing. But then when I did not show him anything, when in fact I forgot my paintings, he said: “Now your paintings are beautiful, now you get to teach art. ‘”
At today’s event, Meera Hashimoto will speak about her concept of art and her method; she will give a demonstration of her painting, composed by changing forms and non-figurative – different colours and paint diluted in water.
“Some people told me, ‘You want to paint something that is impossible. You want to paint music. If you want to paint music, why don’t you become a musician?’ At that point I said, ‘This is my painting and I paint what I want.’ I became aware that I was not painting for someone else. I was actually giving support to my connection with mystery, even if nobody likes my painting. My mission is to express what I feel. “
Workshops in Fortaleza
This is the first time Japanese artist Meera Hashimoto is in Brazil. In Fortaleza she taught workshops for children with cancer, Ceará’s artists and professionals in the communications company O Povo, involving participants in active meditations and experiences with the aim of rescuing the creative capacity of people who, in many cases, failed to exercise that freedom of expression.
Meera was accompanied by a Brazilian team, including the translator Rupa (Indian name). Born in Campinas, São Paulo, Rupa met Meera four years ago in one of her courses in India and since then she meets the artist annually. Identified with the philosophy and method of Meera, Rupa shed tears during the interview. “I was always very touched by her words,” she said.
Meera’s great master, Osho, became known internationally during the second half of the last century, when his heterodox ideas about spirituality and philosophy spread widely, especially his thoughts on sexuality and free love. Deceased in 1990, he left many disciples around the world and the Meditation Resort in Pune, India, one of the main meeting points.