Monday, November 17, 2008

Festival Hats Tapestry (in progress)

My family helps me unwrap some crack seed wrappers for my tapestries. Later, they will help me eat them, too. Most of my wrappers come in the mail from family in Hawaii. The produce netting I use come from friends and family all over. My dad picks up old rice bags in Hawaii when he comes across them and I have friends who bring back flour bags from the Philippines.

(In progress piece above)

This piece pays homage to the issei (first generation immigrant) Japanese sugar plantation workers of Hawaii. The background pattern is abstracted from plantation work clothes worn by women. I find it inspiring that despite the harsh conditions and their being impersonally identified by a numbered brass disc (bango), the women had the creative energy to express their individual style. On many plantations distinct work clothes emerged: unique hat styles, vairations on sashes, variations on aprons and leggings. The types of fabric used showed a blending of the West and East and a mixing of ideas from other cultures on the plantations.

Sketch of completed piece.

Hats formed over trash can lid.

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