Friday, January 25, 2008

Opening Reception Jan.24th


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thanks for all your support

My installations are completed through the collaboration of many people.
This installation was created by those of us who came from Tokyo and the people we met here at NIU for the first time.
The fact that individuals who have never met before can unite as one and work together toward completion of a work of art is, I believe, due to the great power of art.
I believe this with great happiness in my heart.
To the art crew of NIU volunteers and my students and assistants who came from Japan I am grateful. To the entire museum staff here, I am grateful.

And to Jo Burke, who invited me to NIU, I would like to give my very special thanks.

Thank-you very much.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

hara hara ......

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Full bloom

Monday, January 21, 2008

Getting closer


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lighting, adjusting and spurt

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Watching movies...

Yesterday Ayomi and I had the opportunity to preview parts of a film that will augment our concurrent exhibit of modern (20th century) Japanese prints. The film, from the late 1950s, contains footage of Ayomi’s parents working together on a large print.
In that moment, the connection of Yedoensis to the past became quite palpable, and simultaneously its originality and inventiveness - and relevance to its own time and place.


for a moment...

As the semester fires up with galleries open, it has been wonderful to see the reaction of visitors to the space. I hope many more will crowd the gallery before Ayomi and Bidou head back to Japan. They have been more than generous with my scant Pimsler Japanese practice sessions and are incredibly kind and open.

As an installation artist myself, I have incredible respect for Ayomi's ambition and intentions with "Yedoensis," especially in taking a new direction with the work. Or more accurately, fusing her installation and spatial sensibilities with the organic nature of her earlier more traditional printmaking.

The installation process is the embodiment of labor yielding beauty. (I stopped in a week ago, and had to try my hand at it after instructions- and it is a serious undertaking.) 100,000 gestures of a hand (not counting putting the prints on the glue dot strips) and the attention paid to create each mica print on the delicate gampi has lead me to a place without words… Luckily I met an incredible poet at an artist residency who printed a broadside with me at the KHN Center for the Arts a few years back. Forgive me, Mira Rosenthal, for taking your words out of context…”I can’t… count the bees caught behind the baker’s glass, nor tell you how their labor becomes sweetness. But I do know our nature is this, to turn one’s hardship into another’s pure joy.” Seeing reactions to "Yedoensis" and gauging my own- thanks to all who made this possible. It has been incredible to see all the work from behind the office door. I hope those involved and those who made it all possible will take a few moments to just enjoy the fruits of their labor as it happens.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Catherine Raymond came with her class

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Helen took her class

Monday, January 14, 2008

On halfway, of 100,000 flowers

Working (measuring walls, hanging prints, making phone calls, filling out paperwork, sending emails, fiddling with websites, etc, etc, etc) on other museum exhibits, past, present and future, has kept me from being of much help on this installation. I have been watching, from a distance, like a cat just beyond the light from the windows of a house. I am inspired by the persistence and tenacity of the crew that has been coaxing this idea, this transformation, indeed (dare I say it) this beauty, into fruition.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

It's ready

Saturday, January 12, 2008

We've just arrived!

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Friday, January 11, 2008

One of the pleasures of this project has been seeing our NIU students interact with Ayomi’s students from Japan. They share music and look over each other’s web sites. The crew takes a break together in the late afternoon at the conference table in my office. So far there has been an endless stream of sweets being baked and delivered. It is a good thing the Recreation Center has reopened so that folks can go exercise.

If calculations are correct, almost ½ the blossoms have been applied so far.

A new batch of Ayomi's current students will be arriving tomorrow.


So, what happened to the red dots? Our early PR had red dots; the essay written by Margaret Hawkins deals with salvaging and incorporating the detritus of the creative process back into a piece; minimalism, maximilism (?), the color red. Instead, the gallery walls have been covered with vinyl printed a scrumptious pale blue green (somewhere between robin egg blue and a tender spring green). Instead of repetitive geometric pattern, the walls are animated with organic form in the silhouettes of mighty tree trunks and delicate branches. Instead of utilizing the wood chip pieces resulting from her carving to cover the surface, the walls are being covered with the prints themselves. 100,000 one-inch by one-inch hand-printed cherry blossoms to be individually placed by artist and crew. (Note to self: will need to talk with Margaret).

What happened to the red dots? Ayomi has just said she knew she could not do the same thing again here. I wonder if the space has not influenced her shift back to nature as a source of inspiration. Something about the formality of Altgeld Hall, the iron work of the central staircase, the architectural filigree, the cherry wood trim….What she has captured is the breadth (and breath) created by the apse of the Rotunda and here is creating an orchard that embraces and surrounds. Having just come in from the snow outside, this hint of early spring is enchanting.

What happened to the red dots? They’ve gone the way of all creative installation projects – subject to change…. It is incredibly exciting to have Ayomi commence a whole new approach and project here at NIU.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fewer people worked today

Carolyn became an expert in putting floweres on the wall.


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Visitors everyday


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Making #5