Megumi Sakakida Deepak speaks Kannada, paints Indian themes

The journey from Kyoto, Japan, to Bangalore has been an enriching one for this Japanese artist who can speak, read and write Kannada, sing Kannada songs, and says she feels at home at Kundapur.

Meet Megumi Sakakida Deepak for whom India is her home now but is rooted in Japanese culture and art. No wonder after her three-year stay in India, her first solo exhibition of her works of art is called Nanna Bharatiya Jeevana. The works of art are an interesting blend of Japanese art and Indian themes.

Yukio Takeyari, MD, Sony India Software Centre Pvt. Ltd., inaugurated the exhibition at the Belaku Gallery of the Rangoli Metro Art Centre here on Sunday.

Food and culture find recurrence in most of her works, with Ms. Sakakida offering a glimpse of a Japanese platter as well as the traditional South Indian thali, served on a banana leaf. There are some autobiographical aspects too, be it the painting of her Indian husband or a painting of the wedding of her chef-friend from Japan in Kundapur.

Dressed in a salwar-khameez and sporting a “bindi” on her forehead, Megumi Sakakida Deepak fielded a volley of questions from presspersons who were bowled over by her ‘Indian-ness’. She spoke about her love for India, that she can speak Tulu and Telugu, besides Kannada, and that she can make idlis. “I can’t make good idlis but the dosas come out well,” she says.

Ms. Sakakida’s tryst with India, and more specifically Karnataka, began when she started work as a designer at an Indian restaurant ‘Kerala’ in Kyoto after graduation. “Two chefs were from Kundapura. I was fascinated by their language and their stories. I visited Kundapura in 2009. After I went back home, I decided that I want to study in Bangalore. So I enrolled myself for a postgraduate course in the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat,” she explains.

Later, she married her classmate and artist Deepak D.L., native of Kushalnagar. The couple has now made Bangalore their home.

According to Ms. Sakakida, her Japanese parents also love India and have visited her several times.

The exhibition is on till June 8 .

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