Origami and Yorii-za
For the past few years, making origami together with people has become a sort of life work for me.
And last year at New Years, that was the reason why I was able to become friends with a 96 year old woman named Mrs. Ishii.
Mrs. Ishii and I are both the same Chinese Zodiac sign, and when she was around my age, she experienced the war in Nagasaki.
While folding paper, she told me about when she was a student, when she moved from Nagasaki to Tokyo to get married, about her husband who died before her, and sometimes she told me about the war.
When I listened to her stories and folded paper with her, we began to breathe in sync, and I felt as if our insides had become all mixed-up together.
I think that manual labor has a magical power to connect people in a deep way.
At the start of this year, Mrs. Ishii passed away, and I got to keep the origami that she had folded. Actually, I brought some of it with me to Kamiyama, and Mrs. Ishii came with me to Kamiyama as well.
Since I’ve come to Kamiyama, I fold origami with my neighbour Emma sometimes too.
Emma seemed to want to learn to fold the rose that Mrs. Ishii was so fond of, so when we meet up we make roses.
And then just now, I heard the sound of something going through my letter slot, and when I went to check, there was a finished work sitting inside.
It’s as if Mrs. Ishii and Emma had met. Well, that’s my active imagination talking, but honestly I did feel a little lump in my throat.
Yesterday, I moved my work space from Shimobun Atelier to the Yorii-za Theater.
To everyone who helped carry my heavy desk early in the morning, I hope your backs are OK! (ha ha)
I’m always very grateful for everyone’s light footwork and great physical strength.
Just as I was standing there in my bliss, I noticed a little face peeking at me from a window!
I called out in greeting, and as if she had been waiting for a signal, my new neighbor came out to give me advice about things like the windows and toilet at my new work space.
I got an early visit from the welcoming committee. (ha ha)
I love to communicate with people while I do my work. That’s why I prefer to leave the white cube and go out into the streets, and I think that’s why I’m here now, away from where I normally live.
And then I have encountered this place, Yorii-za.
I’ll be really happy if I can make my work grow along with my neighbors and the land here.
Well, I’d better get to it!
KAIR2008 ArtistArticles by Rika Aki