08 May 2013

Junko Oki

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Seeing the above extraordinary image on Ka-Ching!, I was puzzled. Was this a strikingly interesting patch on a pair of blue jeans? some new kind of Amish quilt-making? Maybe I was looking at it wrong. Perhaps it was really some culture on a microscope slide. Or maybe it was some kind of geologic feature seen from Outer Space. No, it really did look like embroidery… What in hell was going on here?

So I looked and looked, and I found that this is a photograph of a piece of fibre art by the Japanese artist Junko Oki. She calls her work Woky Shoten, which name apparently refers to the “free movement of the line to make a simple repetition of work”, and relates to her grandfather’s memories.

She published a book in 2011 in which she describes her artistic vocation (quoted by Julie B. Boot):

(translation by Toshiaki Komuro)

Poesy
I have always dreamed of becoming a poet.
It is still my dearest wish.
Upon seeing one of my works one woman had tears in her eyes.
I had never come upon such a scene before.
What had made her cry?
“That is the power of poetry,” said a wise friend.
“You have become a poet”
When I have needles, threads, and other special materials in front of me, something stirs deep inside my unconscious mind in spite of myself,
and I am filled with strong emotion.
That is when I regain my true self.
When I was afraid to move forward,
I came upon a book of paintings by Antoni Tapies.
When I chant his name, I feel fully armored, even with a dagger in my belt.
In an instance I know clearly which way to go and I will my legs to move forward.
The joy of meeting and the sorrow of separation
have given me strength and courage.
Another day, another walk, I will resume my steps.
I will always be myself as a willow tree is true to its nature.
I will make today another good day.

July 2011
Junko Oki

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Poesy can apparently be ordered from the author via mmtukj@nifty.com.

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Some more examples of her work can be seen here.

Junko Oki’s web-site.

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GoneWithTheWind

Not to be ‘too” critical but fibre art always seems to lack something… I dunno, “art” perhaps. The best fibre art I have ever seen came out of the lint collector of my dryer. But Navajo weaving is awesum and Pendelton blankets are art. I sometimes see things like this hanging in public buildings and it only serves to reinforce the belief that you cannot trust politicians and bureaucrats with our money.



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