Art Analysis: “Noodle Arm”

“Noodle Arm”

“Noodle Arm” circa 1998. Medium marker and cray pas. By “T.”

This is the only known work of “T”, a half-Japanese, half-American boy who grew up near Detroit in a transplant community of Japanese families who came over to support Mazda.  The subjects of this drawing are the artist  himself as a infant and his mother– the woman with the noodle arm.

The poster-size drawing was said to have been drawn reluctantly by the overly active T as an elementary school art project/Mother’s Day gift for his absent mom who had gone of the deep end and was living in Japan.  Later after his mother returned, T gave her the drawing which she promptly had professionally framed as her treasure.

“What is amazing to me,” T’s mother who is now in her 50’s recalls, “is the detail.  All of the fabrics from the chair to the dress to the swaddling truly existed. The necklace was actually a locket that contained photos of both T and his sister.  How does an 8-year old remember these things without a photo?  There was no image like this.”

The mother paused.

“Or maybe this was not me at all.  My eyes are blue.  Maybe it’s the mother he wanted.”

In Noodle arm we see love and contentment in the expressions. however it is said that while T was able to layout the scene on his own, he struggled with the faces which he left to the very last asking for the teacher’s assistance. Maybe it was due to the confusion he must have felt from that period of near abandonment.  And the arm?  It would have had to have been very long to reach him all the way from Tokyo.

The Six-Foot Bonsai (Link) #motherslove.

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3 thoughts on “Art Analysis: “Noodle Arm”

  1. In Chinese culture, we usually have noodles for birthday. Long noodle symbolizes long life. One of the most important birthday celebration we throw for our parents is at age 60, an age of veneration after going through much trials and tribulations. The birthday noodle is a definite must have and an act of filial piety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting! In Japanese culture the most important birthday for an adult is 88– as the Chinese characters appear as two Mt. Fuji images. But there were no noodles involved in the only such event I attended.

      Liked by 1 person

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