We had the good fortune of connecting with Nishiki Sugawara-Beda and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nishiki, what matters most to you?
There is a common phrase among Japanese people, especially to describe or encourage youngsters, but for sure, adults as well. It is “akaruku, tanoshiku, genkiyoku” in Japanese which can be translated to “positively/cheerfully, joyfully, energetically.”

I have heard this phrase countless times as I grew up in Japan. In my teenage years, I started changing the last part, “genkiyoku (energetically)” to “shinken-ni (seriously)” to add some flavor to make my own slogan. This “seriously” is to remind me that we should not take things in life lightly and we do things intentionally and sincerely. Life is precious. I believe my phrase “akaruku, tanoshiku, shinken-ni” can also be interpreted as growth mindset.

The other day, in the interview at The Daily, the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, mentioned about one thing he wants the company to be good at. It was to keep learning. This is what I want to be good at as well.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
Art is a way for me to digest my encounters and understand the meaning of my life and others. Through art-making and sharing artwork and concepts via exhibitions and lectures, my aim is to connect with others beyond language, culture, and time. In the past, when I questioned myself “why I do what I do,” I grounded myself with the thoughts of my purpose for life. I strive to be true to myself and follow my passion. This is not easy as I get distracted with immediate thoughts and motivations right in front of me. But at least, I am conscious about this process. At the end, I want to be a good citizen for the community that I am partaking, locally, regionally, and globally.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Walking around my neighborhood may be the best way to show how I am living in Dallas, TX. Also, I would love to invite my friends to hop in the car to drive away from the city to see the massive land of this region. Texas is big and offers a variety of landscapes from the cities to meadows and from the sea to the high desert.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people who made a positive impact on me throughout my life from a casual encounter on the street to a formal mentorship at various institutions. I have learned so much from each one of them. If I single out one person, I feel that I am neglecting others. However, if I focused on a fundamental level, in addition to my parents, brother, and sister, my sincere shoutout goes to the members of softball team of Kawawa High School in Kanagawa, Japan, including the coach. I was a pitcher, and without the members around me, I would have not stood high on the pitcher’s mound. As the high school period provides such formative years for many people, I gained the true, reliable, and earnest friendship with the members of the team. They still keep providing me emotional support from Japan without words in my heart. This relationship has been forming my base to trust other people in the world.

Website: www.nishikibeda.com

Image Credits
image 1 (artist in the studio) – Bartosz Beda image 2 and 3 – Michael Modecki image 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 – artist (Nishiki Sugawara-Beda)

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