Junko Oki “yoretsuremotsure”

2022/10/15 Sat - 2022/11/19 Sat

KOSAKU KANECHIKA is pleased to present “yoretsuremotsure,” a solo exhibition by Junko Oki, from October 15 to November 19, 2022.

Through unique embroidery and careful attention, Junko Oki inserts new life into aged textiles and instruments. These objects, with years-worth of stories already engraved into them, are revived by Okiʼs hand through a series of attentive stitches. In the artistʼs solo exhibition “anthology” in the tearoom space of the Hagi Uragami Museum up to spring 2021, Oki presented an installation work including seven-thousand spools of thread gathered from throughout Japan. For her subsequent solo exhibition “Yobitsugi” at KOSAKU KANECHIKA, she reworked and revitalized exhibits from “anthology.”

Oki talked of the intertwining of new and old times in these works. They include everything that came into being, and times that once existed but are now gone. The core of Okiʼs creative process involves discovering new horizons through layered impressions of time.

nostalgia
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, wool, bandage, iron
h.111.5 x w.140.3 x d.11.5 cm
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Oki provided the following statement for this show.

Seeing someone thinking about what to call her baby before it was born, I decided to give a name to my stitching. Whatever I do, there are always tangles and places where the threads are taut or twisted. The word that came to me like some kind of secret code to describe this was “yoretsuremotsure,” which is an amalgam of Japanese words expressing these traits. The word brings together things that are typically seen as unwelcome intrusions in hand stitched work, but when I repeat it to myself, “yoretsuremotsure” begins to feel like a sublimation of the time I invest in each work. So I decided to use it from now on to refer to this kind of capricious stitching.

Mother
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage, wood, beeswax
h.100.2 x w.70.3 x d.8.2 cm
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summer dress
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage, wood, beeswax
h.100.2 x w.60.3 x d.7.3 cm
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“Yoretsuremotsure” –the thread gets tangled practically every time you stitch. However, securing the tangles in place instead of disentangling them brings an understand that accepting entanglement is an important part of needlework. Taut, tight threads can manifest in many different ways depending on the weave, thickness, and luster of the fabric, creating what appear to be furrows etched by time. And, when lots of stitching has become twisted, shadows emerge on the fabric, seemingly giving it muscles and the will to move on its own accord.

La dolce vita
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage
h.55.0 x w.35.5 x d.9.8 cm
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cyclamen 1
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage
h.45.2 x w.40.3 x d.9.7 cm
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cyclamen 2
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage
h.45.2 x w.40.3 x d.9.7 cm
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In addition to characterizing Okiʼs creative process, these stitching artifacts, which would normally be considered undesirable, serve as the wellspring of ingenuity in her work. And, as the artist points out, prompted by this word that she found herself uttering as a string of sounds, she focused anew on the “yoretsuremotsure” and began to discover human forms above her work. Discovering this word opened up a new path for her creativity.

Margaret
2022
Cotton, silk
h.50.4 x w.50.4 x d.7.0 cm
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omen
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk
h.65.2 x w.60.6 x d.7.6 cm
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Oki says that each time her art has been viewed by many people at exhibitions, she feels she has been given an opportunity to redo her life all over again. She states “Iʼll give it a name, and then start again from there. Itʼs a chance to confirm that I have complete freedom.” A blending together takes place through the making of countless stitches, respecting and accepting the many things that have come before and times gone by. In order for this to happen, the artist must give herself over completely to something new. That is freedom, and it may very well be the reason why Okiʼs art is so powerful and overwhelms viewers.

The exhibition consists of ten or so new works.

mizukagami 1
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage
h.41.5 x w.32.5 x d.4.6 cm
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mizukagami 2
2022
Cotton, hemp, silk, bandage
h.41.3 x w.32.3 x d.4.6 cm
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GOLD
2022
Cotton, hemp, wood
h.63.8 x w.30.0 x d.8.5 cm
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Junko Oki was born in Urawa City, Japan in 1963 and is currently based in Kamakura. Okiʼs major solo exhibitions include “Recycle” (ARTS & SCIENCE Aoyama, Tokyo, 2009), “gris gris” (DEEʼS HALL, Tokyo, 2016), “Moon and chrysalis” (Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, 2017), “Junko Oki” (2017) / “Truly Indispensable” (Office Baroque, Brussels, 2019), and “anthology” (Hagi Uragami Museum, Yamaguchi, 2020). Her works were also featured in group exhibitions “Nous–sewing and living” (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2016), the 2018 Yamagata Biennale (Bunshokan, Yamagata, 2018), and “Where We Now Stand–In Order to Map the Future [2]” (21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, 2019). Her art book “PUNK” was published by Bungei Shunju in 2014. Okiʼs artworks have been acquired by the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. “yoretsuremotsure” will be the artistʼs fifth exhibition at KOSAKU KANECHIKA, following her 2021 solo exhibition. The Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura Annex in Kanagawa Prefecture is presenting her solo exhibition “OKI Junko: The Exposed” from September 17, 2022 to January 9, 2023.

Photo by Yasushi Ichikawa