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上田恭子 作家活動と素材(絹紗)について

'Layers of Life'






Kyoko Ueda:
About my artistic activities and materials kinusya (silk gauze)

'Layers of Life'

The material mainly used for my works is silk, which is usually used for paper patterns for traditional stencil dyeing. I dye my work, centered on sewing machine methods, using plant dyes, chemical dyes, and red iron oxide, to convey expressions by using a method that layers various materials.

In recent times, tetoron gauze is becoming to replace silk gauze. Due to the material's ease of handling, materials for paper patterns have transitioned from shibugami, paper treated with persimmon tannin, to synthetic paper, and the demand for silk gauze for the shibugami has fallen. In addition, the production of silk gauze has stopped due to various issues including the lack of successors to carry on the silk weaving traditions.

It has been around 20 years since I started to use this silk gauze as material for my works. I first used it as material for items you wear, but I started to use the material for artwork starting in 2003.

 Why am I so particular about this fabric?
First is the transparency of the fabric. It is easy to dye and produces clear colors. When it is layered, the colors and lines overlap creating a mysterious airy feel. The light overlaps. the air swells, and the softness and warmth of the silk envelopes the body. However, this fabric is usually used as a tool for silk gauze. It is unstable and too fragile to use as a weaving yarn. Its fragility is that the thread bunches together, it is rough, and it is weak. While I was creating the work, and as something that is worn, this causes problems regarding its strength during use. However, what can be regarded as a drawback was something that appealed to me and inspired and motivated my creative works.

My expressions that are created by layering fabrics in various ways are methods to overcome this fragility. In addition, these expressions that were created in one go, just like watercolors and drawings, by layering stitches and dyed silk as if they were paint, is extremely thrilling. What's more, my expressions created through multiple layers of thin fabrics create a profoundness that causes one to fixate on the fabric. It can be said that these are the traces of the days that have been layered over each other.