Kiyoko Sakurabayashi



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Materials: Wool, Linen, Cotton, Silk, Polyester, Rayon, Nylon yarns. Fabric, Lining fabric for Kimono.Inner body structure - expanded polystyrene, wooden poles, acrylic paint
Techniques: Hand Knitting, Crochet. India Ink and persimmon tannin dye. 
Size: 170cm x 100cm x 15cm
Date Made: 1999

This piece shows a prostitute who, despite her trade, still has the mind of a little girl. When I made this figure I had in mind Buddhist statues I have seen. The top half of her body is the girl-child and reflects her more innocent thoughts, which I expressed by wrapping her large breasts with knitted fabric. In the lower half of her body her plump hips, exaggerated by her clothing, suggest she is a calculating, tough woman who is capable of taking men sexually. The overly bright scarlet fabric used in the lower part of her body is made from a material called 'Momi', normally used as lining material for kimonos. This is meant to symbolize her decadence. I sewed this fabric onto a knitted piece in a mesh pattern.

In order to coordinate the unbalanced appearance that resulted from the haphazard collection of shapes, sizes, materials, and colours that I habitually use, I repeatedly dyed the materials with India Ink and persimmon tannin under strong sunlight. This particular method of dyeing produced a transparent effect, which allowed the original colours to show underneath. Persimmon tannin was useful for its colour but also produced a special coating that stiffened the knitted piece and made them easy to manipulate and shape.

Finally, I fixed these knitted and treated pieces directly onto an expanded polystyrene body, by using glue and stitches.

This piece was made for the 1999 'Fushiginoiroito' Workshop and Exhibition, which had a common theme of 'The Body'.