Essen – Blind


Embroidery on a secondhand cutlery case made in 1930’s Berlin, Germany

55 × 53 cm

Exhibited at

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

Essen – Blind

The image of a blindfolded girl eating with chopsticks is embroidered on the secondhand cutlery case made in the 1930’s Germany. After the Fukushima disaster I came to feel that we could no longer control what we eat and started feeling that our lives and bodies are suspended in limbo. The fabric does not look very clean because of the stain marks on it that show its long history. The reason why I often use old fabric is that I became attracted to the fabric made in this era in Germany because of its fine quality. I first came across those well-made fabrics when I was strolling through a Sunday market in Berlin. I asked shop staff how old those fabrics were when I stumbled on one. At the beginning, I couldn’t 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 different shops. They were nearly 100 years old and made around 1910-30. I also found out later that the period was before the rise of Nazism and it seemed that the qualities of fabric before and after Nazi are very different. Since the discovery, I have been collecting this kind of daily-use fabric that was made before 1930.

Photo by

Shintaro Yamanaka