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Exhibition: Matters — Works on Silk by Aomi Kikuchi
December 11, 2019
An event every day that begins at 12:00 am, repeating until March 9, 2020
CRS presents MATTERS, an exhibition of nine works by the award-winning Brooklyn-based artist AOMI KIKUCHI. Best known for her exquisite Yuzen silk kimono dyeing and work with other delicate fabrics, which have been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, KIKUCHI here depicts frogs on triple-layered silk organza in a variety of natural settings as well as among human-made objects.
To maintain the softness and ‘unreliability’ of the gauze, she refrains from sewing or tightly stretching it. The fragility and insubstantiality of the images echo the impermanence and insubstantiality of the physical world. The elements of nature, while ever changing, evoke a sense of peace which contrasts with the insatiable temptations evoked by the depicted consumer goods. Kikuchi’s work invites us to meditate on this ephemerality and discover that its acceptance brings a sense of inner peace.
The exhibition will be on view from December 11, 2019 – February 4, 2020. The public is invited to meet the artist at the CRS Holiday Celebration on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
Medium: Triple-layered silk organza, Acid Dye, Pigment
Kikuchi dyed three layered pieces of silk organza simultaneously with acid dyes and pigments after drawing outlines with a gold color Sumi ink. She then steamed them to fix colors, pressed them, and separated them to be framed.
Method: Kikuchi’s original method based on Japanese Yuzen Kimono Dye
Kikuchi uses special brushes made for Yuzen Kimono dye to make beautiful gradations. The size of the brush varies from 3mm to 15cm. She innovated Yuzen kimono dye techniques to establish her original method with layered fabrics and without rice glue lines as water resistance. Instead of glue resistance, she manipulates dye liquid to prevent it from spreading outside of her hand-drawn gold Sumi outline.
Her method makes it possible to dye larger and layered fabrics.
My work often uses creatures as a motif to express the heart of Buddha’s benevolence that human beings and all creatures are equally important.
Frogs in particular are special to me. I lived with the frog named “Bell” for several years. Bell eats a small larva twice a week, but otherwise he/she always sits like a Zen monk and does not move. Unlike us, he/she didn’t lie down or extend his/her legs. Bell ended his/her life and no more exists.
Humans have various desires, and if they are not fulfilled, they suffer. If they are fulfilled, they will be obsessed with new desires and will not be satisfied.
A jellyfish drifts in the waves and lives a life just to get food. We sometimes stop and look at the simple way of life in the aquarium and think its life is even enviable.
Goldfish were bred by humans to appear more beautiful. The desire to see beautiful things gave goldfish bigger eyes, fins and a fuller stomach than necessary. Human desires also afflict goldfish.
The message of my work is that the only way for us to live a mindful life is through understanding that desire creates pain, and there is nothing in the world that will never change and nothing that will last forever.
ABOUT AOMI KIKUCHI
Aomi Kikuchi is a creator of innovative fine arts inspired by Buddha’s philosophy and concepts of impermanence, insubstantiality, and suffering in our lives. She started her career as a fashion designer and worked for more than 25 years as a professional Yuzen silk kimono dyer. While she has a strong obsession with silk fabrics, she also works with other materials that have a femininity and fragility such as fiber, goose down, and cotton flower. Her artistic practice has been expanding from two-dimensional work to include installations, sculpture, and film. She received her BFA from Kyoto University of Art and Design and her MFA from Pratt Institute. Her works have been exhibited all over the world, including this year at the Yukyung Museum in South Korea, in the 35th Anniversary Pratt in Venice show at the Steuben Gallery at Pratt Institute, and at the Wajun-Kaikan Gallery in the famous Chion-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan, among many others.