AKIKO SUZUKI :
paints through fabric, thread, ANTIQUE kimono fragments, color, organdy, light, passion and dread; fear of life; fear of death; the legacy of imperial and demolished japan the pride and sentiment of the new age that consolidates the old with twists of new seeking identities fragile and ephemeral as a smoke passing through humor and pain; sown uncertainty with a soft bravado bedeviled breath of female arts sanctioned and reclaimed distorted turned thread to gold and gold to shards of enlightenment; sewn sinews of distant shadow memory: japan reduced in fire and returned to economic delusion trick-daddy mickey mouse and Arby’s Roast Beef franchise and Geisha in a Bentley with tired salary man misled and misrepresented a corporation too far, too tangled to trust and homage to the nuclear age/wage/waste that still shudders in meltdown poisoned sushi scorched earth gone global in a yugen moment of frozen dark beauty of doom…and for all that Akiko offers light…
SOME THOUGHT ABOUT TWO OF MY WORKS:
“Eat your bones”
Mysterious shapes appeared when I sought to remake and cut a failing quilt.
I felt stiff, uncertain and square at first. But it became an interesting form full of heart by sublimating to the forms suggested by organdy; it was studded with white bone in it… Wire brass arc is like a reincarnation .
The countless black lines are the hairs from my original quilt.
In the feelings of the Japanese, hair reminds one of the deep pathos within, often.
“Love under my skin”
Combining red clothes that it is no longer needed in the production of an earlier piece; expressing the freshness and blood of the body by sewing machine work and painting. Finally to express the difference of skin color
as iconic races I put the black and white organdy and stitched by machine.
Red cloth that was used on the edge and polka dots around the center is the underwear of women in kimono called “Momi “.
It is a most sensual element for us .
Sartre said that ” Can you love their flesh and bones ?” .
I was ruminating that thought in my mind many times as a teenager .
Ask a big love on the part of human nature that exceeds and transcends the difference of country, race, religion, lifestyle … Or,ultimately, we can love flesh and
blood of a loved one. And have you ever loved someone enough to want to eat everything…the bone and flesh of the person?
as a Limited question…..It is also the question of the existence of human beings.
My story of making contemporary quilts
I have loved to paint since I was a child.
I thought that I wanted to be a painter at first, but it was actually making pictures
and three-dimensional works that captivated me, then experiments in video mainly in the College of Art . I did a little bit of work in industrial design , but then , after marriage , I was a housewife for a while and spent time in for child-rearing . But my desire for creation has
motivated me, and I had started naturally to create with cloth using a needle and thread . My mother was a craftsman of embroidery and
my grandmother was a Kimono maker . I grew up listening to
the sound of the scissors and needle in my childhood . I think this effect is very important for me. Needle and thread and fabric are steeped deep in my body and blood.
23 years Ago, I began to make and study patchwork quilt making.
I was making works using the antique kimono first from the effects of my grandmother and my teacher (Michiko Shima) at the time. But my design is not traditional from first, it was abstract from the beginning.
Mostly because I can express well the feelings of
myself through abstract shapes.
In 1997, I took part in the workshop of Nancy Crow who is a pioneer of contemporary American quilt making. I stopped making quilts using a pattern at that time , it was a major turning point in my quilt production.
Also I participated in the project of Carl Heyward in Facebook KNEE(jerk)Fragmentation PROJECT
last year. This also became a major turning point in that I was greatly effected by his works and that of his great and talented friends. Usually I made larger works by grafting smaller pieces together. I became fascinated by the interesting form that is born from the repetition that can be re-configured to be cut again, realized, reduced, fragmented and made large again with newer fragments from all over the world.
I noticed the beauty of waste.
I am very grateful that I received the lovely fragment of an image from him.. and It has grown in me I appreciate him and acknowledgement that I was able to move
to a new stage of possibility into a realm of freer expression.
Currently , I make original clothes by painting and dying
and sew heavily by machine, work on which is a combination of the fabric adding organdy , more painting, burning by the soldering iron, etc.
I am going to try to express the complex texture like painting
by superimposition in many layers . But , not only this , I am looking for
something new in the image always , I do not stick to one style or mode of production methods . I intend to pursue production from various angles well into the future .
Also , It is the Story that is very important to me to produce .
My works are always my novels . Because I can not get my mental stability
without projecting on to my works my feelings that change each time .
Finally , I have made many contemporary quilts from my expression, from emotion…
but I love the traditional quilt also of course .
Warmth surrounded by love; nostalgic feeling; gentle heart
for a human… I feel that quilts are made by joining many hearts and minds instead of being exclusively made only in connection to the making of clothes.