Saturday, 5 February 2011

A daily dose of culture, the work of Kyoko Okubo

I have always had a strange relationship with dolls. I am at once beguiled and repelled by them. Dolls are such loaded little things. Everyone relates to them , positively or negatively. My grandmother made exquisite rag dolls, I'd be mesmerised by their metamorphosis from a flat piece of fabric into a three dimensional, magical living doll.
Of course, fabric isn't the only medium. Man has made dolls for as long as he has existed, from every imaginable material, as fetish object or a simple toy. We identify with them on such a deep level, it is hard to untangle our own existence from theirs. I still remember my earliest of dolls, they all ended up with smashed in eyes (now there is a subject for a psychiatrist!.)
 Today's artist is Kyoko Okubo, a self taught Japanese artist. She sculpts her small figures, that tend to include a female figure interacting with an animal, using 'Washi', a traditional Japanese paper made from tree bark. Her tableau give us snatches of narrative but never disclose the full story. Some may find them a little 'twee' or sentimental, but I think they are beautiful and enchanting.

The Rumour Of bees, by Kyoko Okubo

Pug cups, Kyoko Okubo

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