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Kokeshi is a collaborative project with fiber artist and good friend Akiyo Kaneko (behance.net/akiyokaneko). This body of work evolves from the unfolding layers of meanings and metaphors found in the Japanese icon, the Kokeshi doll. Kokeshi dolls are made out of wood with round heads and cylindrical, limbless bodies. Well known British travel writer Allan Booth described the dolls as substitutes of unwanted infants.
The Japanese characters of Kokeshi, こけし can be understood as extinguishing children , which suggests the common practice of infanticide in the old days of Japan. Yet, the origin of Kokeshi remains a mystery today, as there is not much evidence or records to support the theory.
While culturally specific to Japanese society and mother-child relationships in particular, this project conveys the idea of disconnection between people, highlighting the many layers of indifference and apathy, common to our human experience. Evoking a pulsating quite rhythm, like the poetry in the cycles of women and in nature, this body of work will connect the audience with their own vulnerability and apathy; in the process they will find themselves connecting the threads of a disconnected story.
This body of work consists of several interactive multimedia projects ranging from sound and video work, to photography, fiber sculptures and paintings. Through the poetic use of objects, materials and processes, like ceramics, weaving, bleaching and dying, we want to lead the audience through a multisensory journey. By capturing the essence of these objects and materials to create a metaphoric language, we will engage with people’s imagination through the materiality of the work.
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