Week 2: WEARING MEMORY – HAJI OH

Narrative

Yarn, yarn, spilling at the seems, from the roof, interconnected, woven, unravelling or so it would seem. Starting at the ceiling and ending on the floor, each separate, but part of the whole, together, parting. Just how they work together, this I do not yet know. Dresses, dresses hanging in pairs and alone, I count one, three, five. Coloured with pastel shades of red, pink and blue, the dresses crafted for young Mademoiselles.

With floral patterns scattered across the transparent opaque fabric, stained with dye, each stitch empowering the feminine figure. The dresses captured in photography, hanging, swigging still in the frame that holds them imprisoned. One-dimensional but full of life, the dresses dance in the breeze. Chaos, order, gravity, these are key themes at play here running through each element.

To unravel memories and re-wave them, this is Oh’s goal; my own memories of family get togethers at the back of my mind as walk around the room, my memories becoming part of the installation. Oh’s focus on the process of doing interwoven with the process of making, and the memory of the creation. Oh’s installation bringing me back to the time I spent weaving my younger niece’s hair, the memory of braiding interwoven with my memory of the installation, and Oh’s memory of making.

Those memories silently replaying as I inspect each element, changing my perspective, I notice that at ground level, you are unable to differentiate one strand from another. Changing your vantage point this changes and each string becomes separate, distinguished and reaching out to each other.

Memory, memory, fickle and concrete, fluid and changing. With time we lose moments as time continues, filling the gaps as we go. We make connections to the past, be they true or fantasy, once a memory resurfaced, a moment of revelation. People touch our lives in ways we cannot comprehend, each, a yarn reaching for each other.

Holding myself together I imagine Oh, with black stitching, looping in and out of the ,spaces between her fingers, the tapestry a tool to keep her sanity, her memories and words strung together in a line. Her palm twisting each thread, her palms holding the rich lovely gold yarn. It has begun, yarn, yarn everywhere. In them memories she seeks to share.

Points to research:

  • The yarn cast shadows on the wall, hinting at ghost memories and imprints, shadow and (research cultural context,  meaning shadow, light and dark in Japanese and Korean cultures).
  • Talk about the history and context connection between her techniques (stich and weave…) and the villages (way of life, skills)
  • 6 dresses,8 yarn collection and 3 dropped piles (connection with the numbers in the cultures).
  • Trees & connection with nature and flowers on clothing
  • Flowers used (cultural significance, circle pattern japan significance).
  • The materiality of the Japanese culture

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