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Steven Hasegawa

Painting, Booth 537

I am a Toronto-born Japanese artist exploring what ‘Japanese-Canadian culture’ is, as it is the mixture of two seemingly divergent cultures.  Growing up in Canada as a ‘nisei’ or second-generation Japanese, I realized early on that the Japanese were viewed as unique, but in an honest and accepting way, like somehow they were the opposite of Canadians but also an ideal to strive for.   I also always knew that what makes Canada great was very special in the world.  Through this current series of paintings, I explore combinations of qualities I admire of both Canadian and Japanese culture; the honour and bravery of Japanese samurais, and the freedom and acceptance of Canadians.