Michiko Maruyama Lost in Studyland


Title of Piece: Lost in Studyland
Size: approx. 40 x 24 inches
Media: Acrylic Paint
Creation Date: January 2014

Artist’s statement: I was sitting on the grass under a giant tree, reading a book about anatomy. When I looked up, I found myself inside the right ventricle of the heart. Intrigued, I explored, taking notes and observing carefully. Suddenly, grass started to grow, mushrooms sprouted and the world transformed back to normal. This is how I study, using imagination and creativity.


Michiko Maruyama Grandpa


Title of Piece: Always Ask Questions

Size: approx.30 x 24 inches
Media: Acrylic Paint
Creation Date: January 2014

A short artist’s statement: My first encounter with death was the passing of my own grandfather. I sat by his bedside, holding his hand. Although unresponsive, I continued to talk. I asked for life advice and just then, he opened his eyes and whispered “Always ask questions”. As a medical student, this was the most valuable advice I could ever receive. Thank you, Grandpa.



Title of Piece: Lost in Wonderland (Self‐Portrait)
Size: 150 x 140 cm (approximately)
Media: Acrylic Paint
Creation Date: August 2009

Artist Statement: “Pain, sorrow, loneliness, fear, and hope” – these are a few of the emotions that I, a patient and a future doctor, experienced during my treatment at the Cross Cancer Institute. I completed this painting after undergoing two wide resection surgeries and 27 rounds of radiation. As a patient, painting allows me to express my true raw emotions and as a future doctor, my paintings will serve as reminders of what it was like to be a patient.

This self-portrait was inspired by Sir John Tenniel’s wood engravings of Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland. Like Alice, I was lost in a strange and dark land…




Tetralogy of Fallot




Title of Piece: Tetralogy of Fallot
Size: 140 x 150 cm (approximately)
Media: Acrylic Paint
Creation Date: January 2013

Artist Statement: As I watched the surgeon make the first cut, I whispered to myself… “Please don’t faint… Please don’t faint…” I was so nervous, my heart was pounding, but after the first cut, I took a step forward and I watched in amazement. This was the first surgery I had ever observed – a repair of a Tetralogy of Fallot. The experience was so moving. A moment I will never forget.




The Silent Scream


Title: The Silent Scream
Size: 150 x 140 cm (approximately)
Media: Acrylic Paint
Date: February 2012

Background: This painting started as a Daily Doodle, a quick sketch at the end of a day, but I wanted to create something more to emphasize the importance of this topic that often lies silent… The lecture on February 20, 2012 was very moving. We learned about physician burn-out and suicide. It is a topic that we don’t often discuss, but sadly, it happens all too much. Medical students and professionals who study and work to the point of exhaustion… learning how to take care of others, but not stopping to take care of themselves. The focus is on the patient, but often the physician’s own health and wellness goes unnoticed. The pressure can be so overwhelming… As I listened to the horrifying statistics of physician burn-out, I was left with the image of a medical student in the state of panic and fear, walking through the wards with their surroundings – the hospital walls, the beds, the curtains and the neon lights – melting from fatigue. The imagine that filled my mind reminded me of Edward Munch’s painting, “The Scream.” Sadly, these overwhelming feelings are often internalized and the silent scream of emotional exhaustion goes unheard because we hide it behind our smile.

Artist Statement: Harsh paint strokes of red, yellow and orange represent the flickering fluorescent lights that stretch across the hospital ceiling. Blue curtains flow down, providing a perspective which creates the illusion of an endless hallway of hospital beds… The feet of patients lying in the distant beds are subtle, almost ghostly. In the center of the painting is a doctor wearing a white coat and stethoscope, screaming, with the body contorted, as if melting, and blending into the hospital floors. The hallway is otherwise empty and the physician’s scream goes unnoticed. It is the integration of the physician and the surroundings, the contrast of colours and the harshness of the paint strokes that together, create the overwhelming feeling of physician Burn-Out.

This painting serves as a reminder of the importance of mental health and wellness for everyone, including the physician.




lululemon art


Size: 2 x 2 feet
Media: Acrylic Paint on canvas with foam core and yarn hand stitching
Date: August 2012

About the painting: In the summer right before clerkship, I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Tracy O’Neil, the VP of Product Operational Solutions of lululemon athetica. After discovering that I had a background in industrial and visual design, Ms. O’Neil involved me in one of her projects. There I was, sitting at the table with the designers and VPs of lulu lemon. It’s amazing where art has taken me. Through my lululemon experience, I painted this picture.







My room is filled with giant paintings and my desk is covered with Daily Doodles, sketches, lecture notes, pencil crayons, medical textbooks and highlighters. It’s an odd mix, but that’s me. Integrating art, design and medicine!

A great thank you to the U of A Industrial Design Faculty and to the UBC Faculty of Medicine who support and encourage Arts and Humanities in Medicine. Thank  you to all my mentors who are my source of inspiration and to my loving family who are always there for me – Thank you.



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