November 23, 2011

Making fabric look like paper

And making paper look like fabric. Preparing a new work in my mind. Thinking about how clothes are first drawn on paper before cutting the fabric. How Batik patterns are first drawn on paper before transferring it on to the cotton. How to make paper look like fabric in drawings (like the woodcut-prints below) , but at the same time make them look like they feel.

It's typical how Geisha in woodcut-prints always look like they are moving with such ease, the fabrics move smoothly around their bodies. It is actually quite hard to wear a kimono and move with grace. It heavy and the many layers are tightly bound around your body. It's like a corset and you can only make small steps.
Photo from 1890, Women Washing

Found this beautiful website Old Photos of Japan. The photo above shows women washing kimono's. It almost looks like they are applying wallpaper. For me this is very symbolic. I make works on wallpaper, but base the patterns mostly on fabric patterns. I don't use the wallpaper purely as wallpaper, it doesn't have to hang on a wall, it can hang like fabric like strokes. Like in my wallpaper installation The journey of Batik.

When Batik is presented they hang it on these beautiful wooden racks or hang it on the wall. Batik is made to wear, but it's used as decoration, as a piece of Art hanging on the wall, as a tablecloth, bedspread etc. Kimono's are considered as a thing to look at. Rich man use to buy beautiful, detailed made kimono's for their favorite Geisha. Kimono's have always been collected, hanged on a long wooden stick.

One of the reasons I work on paper, and especially wallpaper, is that it isn't bound by the rules of painting. I never framed my work, I'm planning to try it out, but it feels like I'm taking away their freedom. A canvas has to be hang on a wall. Paper can still move. A Batik or a Kimono can be worn, hang on a wall, used as a daily thing, but also be cherished like a piece of Art or collectors item.

Still don't know what I'm going to make, but like the think about paper acting as or being used as fabric, while it's based on fabric and so forth.


Posted this after "Flower of the Sun" in december 2010 on my virtual residence blog.
I did frame one of my works for the exhibition "Paper in progress" (19 february till 27 march 2011 in Den Bosch). The work Bed rest has a really shocking red frame now. It works pretty well. This is a smaller work of mine and with the frame it's already very unhandy. So I think I mostly stick to rolling them papers up.
When I started this residence blog I was still looking for my way to communicate on De reis naar Batik. It became more open and personal after writing for the other blog. I noticed that for myself and my work it's helpful to write these blogposts. I'm thinking a lot about how to continue De reis naar Batik. I'm suppose to turn it more into a kind of research or is it good the way it is? Will a structure get formed on it's own? Maybe I need to make a new book? I don't know yet. But first I have to finish this work!

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