Dress (Two hearts)


Embroidery on a secondhand nightgown made in 1900’s Homberg, Germany

103 × 75 cm

Exhibited at

In Search of Critical Imagination, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan (2014)

Dress (Two hearts)

Two images of hearts are embroidered with black threads on a secondhand nightgown. Normally, our body has only one heart each, but sometimes I feel as though two hearts are suspended in my body particularly when I cannot or do not make a decision, wanting to choose more than two, or when I cannot or do not give a name to something. The reason why I often use the old fabric is that I became attracted to fabrics made in the 1920s Germany because of its fine quality. I came across the well-made fabric when I was browsing a Sunday market in Berlin. I asked a shop assistant how old those fabrics were when I saw in one store. I could not believe when she said that it was nearly 100 years old. But I eventually came to believe her because I was told the same in other stores. The fabrics are nearly 100 years old and made around 1910-30. Also, I found that the period was before the rise of Nazism and it seemed that the qualities of fabrics before and after the emergence of Nazism are very different. Since the discovery, I have been collecting this kind of daily-use fabric made before 1930.

Photo by

Shintaro Yamanaka