By Camille Hunte | Trinidad Express Newspapers | Feb 13, 2016.

Focus on the beauty, not the negativity. This is the message 25-year-old artist Timothy Boo­tan wants to send through his latest pain­ting dedicated to Japanese pannist Asami Nagakiya.

Nagakiya's body was found beneath a tree at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Wednesday morning. Autop­sy results revealed the 30-year-old had been strangled.

She was a member of the PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra and has been described as an avid lover of Tri­nidad and Tobago and its culture, who regularly participated in Pan­orama and Carnival.

Bootan believes focus should be on her life, talent and contributions to T&T culture rather than on the “unfortunate” comments made by Port of Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee.

It was this belief that prompted him to create a portrait in her honour, complete with a hibiscus in her hair.

I did the painting because I really want people to forget about that and look past that and not associate her with it,” Bootan told the Sunday Express.

I saw how much she loved our culture and Trinidad and Tobago. I wanted to do something to honour her and encourage the rest of the country to appreciate who she was.”

The self-taught artist posted the portrait to his Facebook page, “U Inspire Me”, where he regularly posts portraits of persons, along with their inspirational messages.

He said while he ne­ver had the opportunity to meet and interview Asami, from all accounts, she was a good, kind person who embraced a foreign culture and was indeed an inspiration.

Even though I was never able to interview Asami Nagakiya, I was able to speak to those who knew her. They told me Asami lit up the room wherever she was; her wonderful spirit and loving personality inspi­red many who knew her to be as kind and caring as she was, and to put their heart and soul into achieving their dreams, just as she did with hers,” he wrote.

Bootan told the Sunday Express he hopes peo­ple will celebrate who Asami was and ap­pre­ciate her contributions.

I really want people to see past the negativity and see who she was as a person, full of life and colour.” SOURCE

Trinidad Express Photo

A Note From The Gull

Thank you, Timothy Bootan and Camille Hunte. 

"Patria est communis omnium parens" - Our native land is the common parent of us all. Keep it beautiful, make it even more so.

Blessed is all of creation
Blessed be my beautiful people
Blessed be the day of our awakening
Blessed is my country
Blessed are her patient hills.

Mweh ka allay!