In-between The Surfaces And Layers (2011)

I have been making my artwork by unravelling ready-made fabrics to reveal what is underneath the layers of the materials. Also, I have been making embroidery work showing the reverse side of the embroidery. How the world is constructed, through time and history, does not often appear so clearly on the surface. I am interested in both the surface that we can see and the layers that are normally invisible to us.

My interest lies in the notion of structure and how a surface and appearance emerge in relation to their structures. Time is woven into a piece of fabric as history. This metaphor suggests that various layers and stories are hidden in the framework, which we cannot see from the surface. By untying and deconstructing the fabric, we can revert this process, in order to reveal the layers of its structure and its past. This process of unravelling the fabric aims to rediscover and reveal what is lost and aspects that we could not see before. As a consequence, we have the opportunity to imagine and see time and the process, which we do not usually register when we inspect only a surface. This act of untying or deconstructing the fabric reverts the surface to its original raw material and reveals its history.

My background is in painting wherefrom I developed my interest in the concept of layers. For me, everything has layers, which enfold two meanings. One is the material structure. For example, a painting on a canvas will usually consist of multiple layers to give an image despite the fact that we can only see the surface – the last layer. The second meaning is that ‘art’ itself is a combination of history and time. Our predecessors always influence us, therefore our work is an evolution of previous knowledge and layers. A painter cannot make a painting without the knowledge of the painters prior to him.

From this perspective, the painting structure can be seen as weaving. Furthermore, everything I see is akin to a fabric and the act of weaving. History, politics, books, people, speech, food, the entire world has the structure of fabric. These ideas inspired me to choose the structure of fabric and embroidery as my main theme, in order to loosen and peel off its layers.

In 2007-08, my ideas evolved from untying and deconstructing the fabric materials, to reconstructing and transforming the work into something different. This process of deconstructing and reconstructing is about going back in order to rethink and create something new within the same structure.

I often feel that the world is becoming more regimented and suffocating in that we are losing aspects of our humanity, such as slowness and ways of thinking about our lives. One might say that it is because of capitalism and globalization. I would like to investigate what we should loosen and undo what or how we ought to rebuild. I question from what point in our history we should re-start and which direction we should go. This continuous act of questioning is not only relevant in the world of art, but the same analogy can be made in religion, economy and science.

I am not entirely certain about the answer to the question, therefore I will continue to endeavour finding my own perspective through my work.

Aiko Tezuka
London, September 2011