KazumiTanaka

Mother and Child Reunion

Mother and Child Reunion

Collaborative project with Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Artist-in-Residence/Exhibition 2014

If you have a story and not telling it to others, it remains just a thought. And by sharing with others it becomes a story telling. My mother, who turned 84 this year, told me many stories from her past and those stories influenced me great deal.
Over the years, every time I went home to spend time with her, she always asked me if I wanted to take my umbilical cord; I responded, “Maybe next time”. She asked me again this last time by adding, “While I can still remember”. It is an old tradition in Japan that one day the mother passes each of her children his or her own umbilical cord to tell, 'indeed you were my child.' It was always kept in the upper hidden drawer in the closet Tansu unit she brought with her when she got married to my father.
Through the collaborative process with the Fabric Workshop and Museum, I was introduced to two of the most traditional fabric methods in Japan-one is the Natural Indigo dye technic, the other is the Shibori-Zome (resist and dye)-technic which somehow connects me back to my own roots.
My exploration of Fabric started by visiting the snowing mountain village of Miyama in Kyoto, then to Arimatsu, Nagoya, Both in Japan, and most recently to Bloomington, Indiana. While encountering several amazing masters I realized this knowledge is still being passed in between the generational and geographical distance. I recognized that it is not only technics, but also something very real and intangible that is being passed on simultaneously.
I can only attempt to describe by showing some elements, which I hope to be a shared experience of this journey woven with the thread of generosity and kindness.

  • Mother and Child Reunion
    Mother and Child Reunion
  • Mother and Child Reunion
    Mother and Child Reunion
  • Mother and Child Reunion
    Mother and Child Reunion
  • Mother and Child Reunion
    Mother and Child Reunion