In my youth, I wanted to pursue writing fiction. Though my main medium has been in the visual arts for the past 30 years, I am still dealing with the idea of fiction; I strongly believe in fiction's ability to express the deepest truths and concerns.
My conceptual process of painting is similar to writing a novel. After research and consideration, I make a series of works.  Each work could parallel a chapter of a novel, though the order is looser and variation is used to restate.  When I proceed to totally new concerns, the appearance of my work tends to change rather drastically.  However, I hope I am retaining certain characteristics of myself in all my work.
Despite the changing appearance of my work over the years, I have basic concerns, which have been quite consistent, always personal and humanistic. Using a fictional and symbolic space, I condense experienced and imagined multi-layered events.
My process of art-making starts with gathering various fragments from experiences, events, documents, literature, history, science, myths, customs. I catalogue those fragments, mutate them, make images, and let them interact with each other. It is an act of fusing research, observation, memory and imagination. And I further intervene into the fragments and consider manifold possibilities, though none of the possibilities is conclusive.  My painting is a painted diagram of some of the possibilities, consisting of painting vocabularies that are both fascinating and painful for me at the same time. It is my fiction writing. It is incomplete, fragmented and under inquiry. 
Through this inquiry into historical, cultural, sociopolitical and psychological human conditions, I am trying to come to terms with the complex reality of the 21st Century.  And my vision stays pathetically optimistic.

Michiko Itatani