Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Exploring form and materails for neuron tapestry installation

I am experimenting using Sunbrella fabrics in combination with kimono fabrics, silk remnant scraps and Sashiko stitching. These images show sample elements for a large tapestry installation. Fabric is sewn over wire form frames. The back of the pieces will be covered with fabric of contrasting colors. This clean finishing of the backs is important as some of these pieces will curve away from the wall and the viewer will see glimpses of the underside as they move about the center from different angles and elevations.

 Early concept sketches can be seen in this earlier blog posting. I will be creating more refined pencils sketches soon. This 40ft wide x 15 ft tall  installation will in the main lobby outside the lecture hall at the Albert Sherman Center in Worcester.

Tipping Bowls Installation Completed

I am finally getting a chance to upload images of the final installation of the Tipping Bowls commission. This piece now graces the dining room of a lovely San Francisco home.

Tipping Bowls is inspired by my childhood memories of meals at my grandma Okada’s house on Maui in Hawaii. I wanted to reflect on the organized chaos of the kitchen. My grandma’s cooking was an art and it was very much like watching an orchestra at work when family and friends were there to prepare for big events like Japanese New Year’s feasts. The rice bowls, soup bowls and soup spoons were used for all meals and I enjoyed studying the patterns on them. When at my grandma’s house, we enjoy the cuisine of many cultures that worked in the plantations. Our meals blended Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Hawaii foods. Many of the cultural foods I enjoyed as a child are reflected in the wrappers used in this collage sculpture.

Tipping Bowls honors the creative thriftiness of both Meji Era Japan and Hawaii plantation culture, as mainly re-purposed materials were utilized to create this piece. The piece is backed with a lining of old rice bags saved by family members in Honolulu and Maui. In my grandma’s day, cotton rice bags were made into children’s clothes, undergarments and sheets for beds. The silks in this piece are remnants from San Francisco couture designer Colleen Quen. The netting is produce bag netting from fruit and onions as well as netting recycled from flower deliveries to my aunt’s Ikebana classes. Many Chinese and Japanese preserved fruit wrappers, tea bags and chopstick sleeves are also included in the piece.

Below are images of the installation day.