I discovered Nihonga at the age of eighteen. It is an artistic movement founded in opposition to Western painting (Nihonga literally means "Japanese painting", translator's note) at the initiative of Kenshin Okakura and Ernest Fenollosa. I was particularly attracted by the works of Gyoshu Hayami. Nevertheless, my first discovery of Japanese painting goes back earlier. Having lived in Belgium for five years until I was eight, my mother took me to museums and churches all over Europe and I eventually got tired of oil paintings. I soon became bored with canvases with thick pigment that built up to form clumps. This is why, at the age of nineteen, when I was thinking about my artistic future, which I wanted to be both international and specific to my oriental origins, it seemed obvious to me to work with natural mineral paint. I had decided to dedicate myself to Japanese painting, even though the term "Japanese" made me uncomfortable.