I am Akemi Lucas, a Japanese calligraphy master and also known as the artist 'Koshu'. I was born in Japan and embarked on my journey as a calligrapher at the age of eight, when my mother sent me to calligraphy school to improve my writing and sense of balance, which had been compromised from losing sight in my left eye from cancer. I was very sensitive and empathetic child, feeling emotions from others, which caused many illnesses on top of cancer from a young age. So I have learned how precious life is and also how powerful artworks are showing the artists's lives and emotions, which showed how important the mindset is when I hold my brush.
I was taught under Master Seizan Fujimoto, whose lineage is traced back to a well-known calligrapher of the Meiji period, Meikaku Kusakabe. At the age of 16, I started learning the style of Mr Goseki Nishiwaki through the Bunka Calligraphy association in Tokyo, and over time, I have learnt many diverse styles of calligraphy used by other well-known calligraphers.
At the age of 24, I was qualified as a calligraphy teacher and was given the name of "Koshu" by my master, then set up my own school, teaching calligraphy in Japan. After my English husband's death, I followed his wish and moved to the UK. I managed to re-start my calligraphy and Sumi painting courses as “Koshu Japanese Art". My distinct style of calligraphy builds on traditional skills and the expression within my sumi paintings further embodies the fusion of the ancient and the modern, the eastern and the western, the before and the after. I pour my deep love, with my faithful heart into every single stroke and hope that the messages in my artworks reach into people’s hearts and leave an echo for future generations.
I have held several exhibitions in the UK, Japan, USA, and Georgia, and in 2019, in excess of 40 of her artworks were exhibited at the National Museum in the Capital city of Georgia, hosted by the Japanese Embassy. My workshops, demonstrations and online classes continue to be in high demand all over the world.
I also undertake commissioned work with recent highlights being; the creation of the label for the craft Gin and Liqueurs brand Kokoro, that received a Gold award for design in 2018; creating the artwork for new packaging for the Japanese food brand, Yutaka; I was also commissioned to create artworks for the Rugby World Cup Awards, that were held in Tokyo in 2019; and undertook a major commission for the Aldi, Team GB, Tokyo Olympic 2020 advertising campaign. All of this work has brought a broader appreciation of Japanese art and has introduced my work to a wider international audience. I am currently collaborating with the Georgian State Ballet on an exciting project, a new ballet in which the choreography will represent my brushwork.