In 2013 I was 'Artist in Residence' in the beautiful village of Mino in Japan. This AiR came to a halt in 2016, but still offers assistance to self-funded artists.
This year a special exhibition showcases handmade paper Etegami works by past participants of the Mino Artist in Residence. My picture letter will be among more than 50 other Etegami art works.
Etegami (e means picture and tegami means letter/ message) consists of a simple drawing accompanied by a few words on a postcards to be mailed to one’s friends.
If you are in Japan, try to take a detour and visit Mino, known for its quality handmade paper and Edo-period streets with 'udatsu' roofs. And please feel welcome to enjoy the many beautiful Etegami at studio Yoshida
Dates: Wed. 21 March – Sun. 25 March
Time: 10:00 – 16:00
Place: Studio Yoshida (next to former Imai Residence)
2017 started with a visit to the studio of the amazing artist Ichiro Kikuta in Okinawa. During this trip I photographed vending machines what became the subject of my paintings 'Japanese vending machine'. In Mino, famous for its traditional handmade paper, I had the opportunity to help craftsman and papermaker Senda Takanori with getting the fibers ready. My makura byoubu and lantern were part of the Paper New Year exhibition at Gallery Yoshida. During the exhibition I assisted in a workshop to make origami 'hashi oki', chopstick rests made from paper.
This year, while following the workshop handmade paper making in Mino, I made a lantern for the Mino Washi Akari Art Festival. You can view my lantern 'Mirai' in the photo below: the box-shaped lantern.
Mino AiRDuring the Mino Washi Akari Art Festival, visitors could also view all paper lanterns made by past participants of the Mino Artist in Residence. I made the green-and-white rectangle lantern 'Outside' in 2013 as part of the Mino Paper Art Village (Artist in Residence) project. You can view this lantern here.
The history of Mino Washi paper goes back 1300 years. It was admired for its beauty, strength and softness. During the Edo period Mino Washi became a luxury and was being used for sliding doors.
In 2014 Unesco placed the traditional craft of hand making paper from Mino, Misumi-cho and Ogawa on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In Mino this special paper is called "Hon-minoshi".
The bark used for "Hon-Minoshi" comes from the finest Mullberry tree (Nasu Kozo). During the 5 days paper making workshop we learned about the process of making Mino Washi paper. The main activity was making large-sized papers. Other things we did were washing the bark in the water basin, putting the bark inside the boiling pot of water and soda, and taking out the dark and hard bits left inside the bark. The photos show some of the steps made during the process of making Mino Washi paper. I hope you enjoy the photos! View my previous post to see an article about me in the Chunichi Shimbun.
De geschiedenis van Mino Washi papier begon 1300 jaar geleden. Toen al werd het bewonderd om haar schoonheid, kracht en zachtheid. Tijdens de Edo-periode (1603- 1868) was Mino Washi een luxe product en werd het gebruikt voor schuifdeuren.
In 2014 plaatste Unesco de traditionele ambacht van het met de hand maken van papier uit Mino, Misumi-cho en Ogawa op de lijst van "Immaterieel Cultureel Erfgoed van de mensheid". In Mino wordt dit speciale papier "Hon-minoshi" genoemd.
De vezels van de beste Moerbeiboom 'Nasu Kozo' worden gebruikt voor het maken van "Hon-Minoshi". Tijdens de 5 dagen van de workshop leerden we over het proces van het maken van Mino Washi papier. Maar de meeste tijd besteedden we aan het maken van Mino Washi papier zelf. We gebruikten een grote 'suketa' dat door middel van draden aan bamboestokken hing. Al snel ervaarde ik waarom, omdat de mix van water met papier en aoi tororo erg zwaar was. Daarbij moest je gecontroleerde bewegingen met de 'suketa' maken, zodat het papier mooi en sterk wordt.
Andere dingen die we deden was het wassen van de witte bast in het bassin, de bast in de kokende pot met alkaline doen- en er later weer uithalen, en de donkere en harde stukjes uit de bast halen. De foto's tonen een aantal van de stappen tijdens het proces van het maken van Mino Washi papier.
Een artikel over mijn deelname aan deze workshop is in de Chunichi Shimbun (krant) verschenen.
Thank you everyone for coming to the opening. It was such a nice day! The wonderful singing performance by Mari Fuji really moved me. With Chiemi Fukumori's dance in unison they were fantastic! Thank you very much! I hope to see your performance again somewhere in the Netherlands or maybe..Japan?
During the opening I talked about the importance of esthetics in my art and the influence of Japanese art and architecture. Furthermore I explained some of my prints taking different approaches. Since I went to Japan last year as Artist in Residence at the Itsukaichi Printstudio I mostly made prints. At the moment I am searching for a more "poetic" way of expressing light by using Japanese pigments. Also I am adding more elements of nature into my paintings. A begin has already been made in the diptych prints 'Shoji Window'.
The day ended with a Workshop Shodo (calligraphy) by Chiemi Fukumori. Enthusiastically she told us about the Japanese characters 'Kanji' and the way of writing. I was surprised to hear about the strokes inside the kanji 'wind' (Japanese: 風) meaning 'worm'.
If you didn't have the chance to come to the opening; my paintings, prints and paper boxes will be in Wunderkammer until the 21st of August. For other questions, please leave a message.
Solo Exhibition 'Gloss Over'
Where: Wunderkammer, Kanaalstraat 149a, Amsterdam
Date: July 12th - August 21st.
Thank you everyone for coming! It was very nice meeting new people, as well as seeing old friends again.
For the people who could not come: until February the 22nd you can view my works at Galerie Iroha in Dordrecht.
It's a pity you missed my talk during the vernissage. If you have any questions regarding my works, feel free to contact me.
For my lantern "Outside" I used Tengujou washi. It is the thinnest paper I could find in Mino.
I found my inspiration in the wooden structures of traditional Japanese houses and the use of paper in the interior. At the Former Imai Residence the wooden structures in front of the paper seem like small windows.
Now I am making a second lantern using Tengujou washi, some with a higher saturated colour. Instead of aluminum frames I now use wooden frames. The photos show details and layering using natural light and artificial light.