Chiura Obata’s Untitled (Pier)

Selected Artworks from Chiura Obata: American Modern

A contour drawing of a pier.

Chiura Obata, Untitled (Pier), ca. 1930s, ink on paper, 15 x 20 3/4 inches, Private Collection.

About this Artwork

Obata painted and adored equally California’s mountains and coastline. In a 1965 interview he described thinking of Japan when looking west across the Pacific:

Since I came here in 1903, every year at the end of the year when it becomes colder in San Francisco on the night of the 31st I would go to the Pacific Ocean to the beach at the Cliff house. In those days there was a lot of driftwood. I would gather them and make a fire. I would dig a hole in the sand; I would get in there and keep myself warm by the driftwood fire, and I would wait for the sun rising from the sea. In the morning I would write down on the sand, which is the result of the crashing waves, my impression to send to my parents and friends in my homeland. This is how I tried to convey my feelings to them.