Loom of layers


Multicolor weaving “EPOTEX”

H.650 x W.1100 x D.450 cm

Production support by KAWASHIMA SELKON

Exhibited at

MOT annual 2008 Unraveling and Revealing, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2008)

MOT Collection, Our Ninety Years: 1923-2013 Afterimages of tomorrow, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan (2013)

Loom of layers

Images featured:

Stand cover, silk with kyokechi-dyed designs of flowering trees and paired-birds, Shōsō-in temple (Japan, 8C)
Calico pattern (India,18C)
Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Baroque sculpture, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italy, 17C)
Hermes and the Infant Dionysus, Praxiteles (ancient Greece, Unknown)
Miroku Bosatsu, Buddha statue, Chūgū-ji temple (Japan, 7-8C)
Suigetsu-Kannon, Buddha statue, Tōkei-ji temple (Japan, 13C)
“Uchikake” outer garment featuring hexagonal and diamond patterns created in embroidery and pressed gold leaf, (Kōdai-ji temple, Japan, 16C)
Wallpaper pattern (France, 19C)
Collar part of local clothes (Guatemala, Unknown)
Tunic with flower ornaments, Coptic textile (Egypt, 9-10C)
Tunic, Coptic textile (Egypt, 8C)
Ex-Voto de 1662, Baroque painting, Philippe de Champaigne (France, 17C)
Madonna of the Rosary, Baroque painting, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italy, 17C)

The upper part of this fabric reveals that its warp threads have been left unwoven. This installation shows as if a loom has not finish weaving the fabric. It was my intention to bring the loom with an unfinished fabric to the museum so as to invite visitors to ponder the question; what would you continue to weave after this? When visitors stand in front of the work (loom) they would feel as if becoming a “weaver” themselves. It immediately draws them into the work as an active participant. The motifs are gathered and put together in ways that are intentionally “random” and “haphazard.” For example, the ancient Japanese pattern is printed on an ancient Greek sculpture. If someone reproaches it by saying, “this is nonsense, and not consistent with the history,” I would then say, “precisely, that’s my intention, but what is the ‘sense’?” I have read many books about patterns, ornaments and decorations but no books gave me clear answers as to why they were created, although they explained the periods of creation, the meaning of each element, relation between colours and so on. But these were not the answer that I was looking for. This is the reason why I wanted to bring the loom with the half-woven fabric with the “haphazard” pattern. This half-woven fabric refers to various artworks in the past and the present such as Buddha statues, ancient Greek and baroque sculptures, old master paintings, ancient Japanese fabric patterns, Coptic patterns in ancient Egypt, wallpaper patterns in the present and so on. These various motifs add many layers, which can be seen in various parts of the pattern.

Photo by

Masaru Yanagiba / Mie Morimoto