The first three artists of our 2015 season come from Japan, and have been selected by curator
Rachel Carvosso. Rachel shares some thoughts on her process below.


From the Curator:

I have been very intrigued and inspired by the Illuminated manuscript concept of Spark and Echo Arts and having been based in Japan for 10 years I wanted to invite Japanese creative producers into the process. With little general cultural saturation of biblical background and imagery I decided to connect to a more general relevant theme of finding hope within the brokenness. Japan was hugely effected by the events of 3/11 and Fukushima and Tohoku in particular continue to be places where recovery in ongoing. How do artists respond in the aftermath and what does the bible have to say about disaster, fear, suffering and hope?

All three artists have considered both their identity as “Japanese” artists post 3/11 and questioned how the bible could relate to God`s bridging of the gap created by brokenness and sin, what should be questioned and how hope can be found even in the middle of the most painful and confusing circumstances.

For myself all these pieces remind me of the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi (Kintsugi). In  Kintsukuroi broken pottery, rather than being discarded is delicately restored — the cracks filled in with gold. What is broken becomes more beautiful as a result, and I find that Japanese artists responding to the bible through the prism of the disaster have a lot of beautiful and important insights to share.



The first work is from textile artist Ayako Yoshida in response to Psalm 46:2-3:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 


spark and echo6

Ayako Yoshida, [the earth is round no matter what happens], 2015




From the Artist:

Through discussion with the curator I chose this bible verse because it is about protection in the middle of great disaster. On March 11th 2011 Japan experienced a huge tsunami and earthquake; so this is an important theme for us. How can we be safe even if the world is breaking?

The center of the image is the world, and it can also be viewed as a hat. I chose to use hat as a motif because, for me, the image of a hat evokes childhood memories of being protected from elements that can become harmful – for example sunlight or strong rain/wind. In Japan teachers train children to wear a hat to protect our heads when an earthquake occurs, so we are familiar with the hats. Japan is also known as the Land of the Rising sun, everyday we see the sun sinking to the other side of the sea. It is a rhythm and is something reliable – in the bible verse even if the physical world disappears there is something that remains.





ayako yoshida
Ayako Yoshida graduated from Tama Art University in 2012. As an emerging textile designer she has exhibited in a group show (Shinchou Art) and the was selected for the Aomori Triennale Print Prize in 2014 and is currently working as a textile maker.
“My textile work/designs are inspired by the color of the Japanese Kabuki Theater, Ukiyoe prints and European Paintings and space.  I make surface design and create two dimensional patterns/hangings that allow the viewer to see the space as if looking through a window. I want viewers to enjoy looking ‘into’ the work as if they are looking at another world.”




This work was curated by Rachel Carvosso.

This image is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.

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