Textile artist Ayako Yoshida incorporates the visual aesthetic of Kabuki theatre and responds to the events of March 11, 2011 in her work's reflection on Psalm 46:2-3.
The first artist of the 2015 season, Ms. Yoshida is also the first artist of a three-part series featuring artists from Japan, selected by curator Rachel Carvosso.
View the second and third works in this series: Paradise by Shino Yanai and Hope by Satsuki Ichikawa.
Ms. Carvosso also shares some thoughts on her process as a curator below:
From the Curator:
I have been intrigued and inspired by the illuminated manuscript concept of Spark+Echo Arts. Having lived in Japan for 10 years, I wanted to invite Japanese creatives into the process. With little general cultural saturation of biblical background and imagery I decided to connect to a more general relevant theme of finding hope within the brokenness. Japan was hugely affected by the events of March 11th. Fukushima and Tohoku in particular continue to be places where recovery in ongoing. How do artists respond in the aftermath and what does the Bible have to say about disaster, fear, suffering and hope?
All three artists have considered their identity as “Japanese” artists post March 11th in addition to how the Bible could relate to God`s bridging of the gap created by brokenness and sin: what should be questioned and how hope can be found even in the middle of the most painful and confusing circumstances.
Personally, each of the works in this series remind me of the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi (Kintsugi). In Kintsukuroi, broken pottery — rather than being discarded — is delicately restored, the cracks filled in with gold resulting in what was/is broken becoming more beautiful than before. I find that Japanese artists responding to the Bible through the prism of the disaster have significantly beautiful and important insights to share.
Artist Curated by
2 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
3 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Through discussion with the curator I chose this bible verse because it is about protection in the middle of great disaster. On March 11th 2011 Japan experienced a huge tsunami and earthquake; so this is an important theme for us. How can we be safe even if the world is breaking?
The center of the image is the world, and it can also be viewed as a hat. I chose to use hat as a motif because, for me, the image of a hat evokes childhood memories of being protected from elements that can become harmful – for example sunlight or strong rain/wind. In Japan teachers train children to wear a hat to protect our heads when an earthquake occurs, so we are familiar with the hats. Japan is also known as the Land of the Rising sun, everyday we see the sun sinking to the other side of the sea. It is a rhythm and is something reliable – in the bible verse even if the physical world disappears there is something that remains.
Ayako Yoshida graduated from Tama Art University in 2012. As an emerging textile designer she has exhibited in a group show, Shinchou Art; was selected for the Aomori Triennale Print Prize in 2014; and is currently working as a textile maker.
“My textile work/designs are inspired by the color of the Japanese Kabuki Theater, Ukiyoe prints and European Paintings and space. I make surface design and create two dimensional patterns/hangings that allow the viewer to see the space as if looking through a window. I want viewers to enjoy looking ‘into’ the work as if they are looking at another world.”
主なテーマは色彩と空間です。 世界にはたくさんの色があります。 日本の伝統的な歌舞伎や浮世絵に使われている色を見て作品を作ったり、 西洋のたくさんの画家の描いた絵からインスパイアされることもあります。 パターンを繰り返すことによって空間が現れます。 一枚の布を壁にかけた時にその布がまるで窓のようになる。 私たちは窓の向こう側を見ているような気分になる。 別世界をのぞいているような楽しい気分になるようデザインしています