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Artist in Residence: Mariko Kusumoto

Last month, Morikami wrapped up an exciting Artist in Residency program with Mariko Kusumoto, thanks to an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.  Kusumoto’s visit kicked off with opening of her exhibit in Morikami’s galleries, Unfolding Stories, and culminated with a workshop for the public at Morikami and at local schools for students and educators.

Kusumoto (left) at Park Vista High School workshop

In her work, Kusumoto transforms found objects and meticulous metal sculptures into miniature, whimsical – yet functional – constructions:  music boxes, clocks, and board games, to name just a few.  All works promise more than meets the eye with multiple doors, secret compartments and moving parts.  Kusumoto draws inspiration from her upbringing in a 400-year-old Buddhist temple where her father was a priest.  As a child it was her job to polish the temple’s old brass ornaments, and metal made to look aged is a signature element of her work.

Bloomingdales by Kusumoto in Morikami's galleries

Kusumoto encouraged workshop participants at Morikami to draw on memories and experiences to craft a three-dimensional narrative. Participants folded construction paper folded into a palm-sized four compartment box, and shaped colorful clay to fit inside:

Or outside:

Unfolding Stories is on display until May 6, along with Old Techniques, New Interpretations: Japanese Prints from the Collection of Paul and Christine Meehan.

Curious about Japanese prints?  Don’t miss Japanese Prints on the World Stage: The Modern Transformation of a Traditional Medium by Dr. Alicia Volk on Thursday, April 5.  Dr. Volk will describe 20th century Japan’s printmaking techniques and how they survived war and occupation to emerge as some of the world’s most energetic and ambitious art forms.

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