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美術・写真

An artist who "sews" leaves and shells in tune with the time that has passed

木の葉や貝殻が経てきた時間に寄り添い“縫う”作家

(TOP image) "Memory of the Mountain" (detail) 2019-2020 Petals, leaves, branches, fruits, seeds, fruit skin, thread, cloth, photographs (set of 5), collection of the artist Photo: Shintaro Yamanaka [Qsyum! ]

Go, see and feel the world of art
File.30 “Mariko Kase Exhibition | Sewing Life”
Miyuki Inoue (Magcal Editorial Department)

Stitching life.
I was curious about the title of the exhibition scheduled for this spring at the Yokohama Museum of Art. It feels like it's a somewhat heavy world, but the images of the works that accompany it also give a sense of its honest cuteness.
First of all, what is this?

The exhibition was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the summer ended without the mystery being solved.

The time has finally come to solve the mystery. It has been decided that "New Artist Picks 'Mariko Kase Exhibition | Sewing Life'" will be held!

Before the opening on Saturday, November 14th, I had the opportunity to speak with the author Mariko Sakurai, so I went out with excitement.

Mr. Kase has always been interested in fashion-related matters. He decided to study "manufacturing" because he found it difficult to actually create what he imagined. However, there was no textiles in the craft field of the University of Tsukuba's School of Art, so he had no choice but to choose woodworking. It's a very unique life.

“Naturally, I was in an environment where there were many people around me who were creating ``useful beauty'' such as vessels and chairs.In such a situation, I thought, ``What can I do?'' and that's what I came up with. I grew up with a grandmother who was an embroidery teacher, so I wanted to try sewing, something my beloved grandmother always did.''

And so the "Tree Sewing" series was born.

*Exhibition view of the “Sewing Trees” series Photo: Shintaro Yamanaka [Qsyum!]

``I like things that have passed through time, like tree rings, and things that give a sense of the passage of time.I make holes with a drill press to follow the tree rings and the grain of the wood, and then sew while tracing the holes. "I just sew while thinking about things and being close to each other. Maybe I'm enjoying this world of time play."

Since it is a natural material, the bark of the tree may peel off or chip during the production process. Even such fragments are carefully sewn up with a needle and thread.

"Sometimes things get chipped along the way, but I think it's an interesting job to sew them back together."

Mr. Kase, who grew up in Sashima, Yokosuka, loves the sea, and his home is stocked not only with wood chips but also with shells. Of course, I also sew seashells.

``I find it interesting how I feel about the materials, and I end up picking up a lot of things.My family once warned me, ``Be careful because there might be something in there'' (lol), but as a piece of work... As I work on it, I get the feeling that the story of the material begins to blend into it, and I think that's an interesting feeling."


*《Prototype production of shellfish》 (part) 2020 Shellfish, thread Photography: Shintaro Yamanaka [Qsyum!]

When I compare these works side by side, I feel that the works used in exhibition DMs have a slightly different impression. That's no wonder, as this piece is meant to commemorate the time she spent with her grandmother, who passed away last year. My grandmother's favorite sweatshirt, flowers from the garden, mint leaves, her beloved cat's hair, and her grandmother's remains. It is said that this work embeds many memories and the feeling of "thank you."


*《Ito no Hi-2》 (part) 2019 Flower petals, leaves, silver thread, hair, cat hair, grandmother's sweatshirt Collection of the artist Photo: Shintaro Yamanaka [Qsyum!]

``Flowers and leaves may eventually fade and fall apart, but I want to leave behind the ``prints'' of my hands when I sewed them together.''It was spring when I brought the works to the museum. , the colors and textures may have changed if you look at it now, but those changes are also interesting.Since it's a very private work, I was hesitant to make it public, but I hope that seeing it will give you something to think about. I think so.”

While the exhibition was postponed, Ms. Kase gave birth to her second child. When I visited her, she was working on a new piece based on an idea that came to her when she gave birth. The material I chose was the same cotton dress I wore when I gave birth.

``At the moment of childbirth, there is a lot of blood. I think many people have a scary image of blood, but at that time I felt very relieved. I feel a sense of relief knowing that he has come out. And that blood also changes over time. That feeling is firmly attached to me."

Ms. Kase has sewn together pieces of wood, flowers, shells, and memories of her deceased family members. The next creative theme may be heading toward a newly budding "life."

New Artist Picks
Mariko Kase Exhibition|Sewing life
[Period] November 14th (Sat) - December 13th (Sun) 11:00-18:00
*Café Ogurayama is open from 10:45 to 18:00.
[Venue] Yokohama Museum of Art Art Gallery 1, Café Kokurayama
[Closed] Thursdays
[Price] Free
[Sponsor] Yokohama Museum of Art (Yokohama City Arts and Culture Foundation)
[Cooperation] GALERIE PARIS, Café Ogurayama
[Inquiries] 045-221-0300 (Yokohama Museum of Art)

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