From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Posts Tagged ‘art installation

Nearly ready to fly!

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Paper for Identity Tapestry Companion Wall (Tokyo)This most recent stretch has been all about finishing up Identity Tapestry and Messages from Tokyo for the show at MOT (the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo).

It’s also been absolutely fascinating working with Kasumi Yamaki, the curator at MOT to edit my statements to make them Tokyo-specific, and to be sure the nuances make it across in translation.  There are so many things unique and important to Japan and Japanese that don’t translate easily into English.  My favorite is “air”.  “Reading air” is interpreting the unspoken desires or rules or dislikes of a person or workplace or situation.  “Breaking air” is chasing to go against that (say if work officially ends at 5, but the “air” expectation is that you stay until 8, but you chose to go home at 5).

Then there are things that don’t translate into Japanese, like “faith”.  The concepts of belief and trust, yes, but “faith” is trust or faith without proof.  It doesn’t have to be religious.  You can have faith in a stranger’s good behavior (while you have trust based on experience in the behavior of a friend).  There is no Japanese equivalent, so if I want to include it we have to come up with a phrase that describes it.

My studio assistants have been fantastic: winding yarn, being my hands while I direct dyeing paper and yarn, ironing the paper and sewing thread through it, assembling the posts, filling in the laser-etching in black…  they really have been great.  

basket

Some things I still need to do all by myself. The most obvious thing this time was sculpting the basket.  In previous pieces this has been made of heat-moldable plastic.  This time though, the yarn will be in a nest/cradle on the floor and it is made of chiffon sculpted with draping fluid.  I love how this came out, and it looks great with light behind it, which makes me want to experiment with this material more.

I even managed to figure out how to take everything in our allotted checked and carry-on baggage: 300ish rocks wound in yarn, 1200 pieces of paper, 240 posts, 240 statements, (221 to be used, plus extras), maps measuring 5 feet by 9 feet and the same dimensions for hardware cloth, ph neutral glue (huge container), acrylic bonding solution, tools, paint, draping fluid and extra fabric, and that huge fabric basket.  The maps are in a protected tube with the hardware cloth wrapped around it secured in a ski bag!  It worked!

My last task is making the paper guide for where the statements are placed while my assistants finish taking stickers off the laser-etched statements and fill in the text with black.  Nearly there!

So excited to get to Japan and install these next week!

My kitty has been “helping” all along.

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Written by Mary Corey March

July 14, 2019 at 3:15 am