KEI TAKEMURA solo show at Maitland Regional Art Gallery

February 7, 2020

Kei Takemura‘s solo show ‘How Can it be Recovered?’ brings together delicately-embroidered fabric, broken objects, fluorescent thread, drawings and more at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. Open to the public from Saturday 8 February, this solo show presents Takemura’s Renovated series, in which she transforms the ‘wounds’ of fractured objects. For the artist, the act of embroidery creates a state of being tentative; it transforms objects and places which no longer exist, and brings fragments of memory towards a tangible existence.

“The remembrance of the tragic moment which cannot be reversed is not the main issue for me, much more important for me is that the plate is still treated with respect after this occasion by carefully veiling and embroidering the object. The cover out of the semi-transparent cloth gives the vessel a ‘frame’, like a frame around a painting. It demarcates it from the outside world. The seams with white shiny silk threads let the viewer recognise that it is not meant to be a present, which is supposed to be opened, but that this is a cover, which contains a tragic moment that must not be touched violently.”

The fluorescent silk that Takemura uses for works in ‘How can it be Recovered?’ is silk thread produced by genetically modified silkworms that emit fluorescent light. It gives off a faint green glow when lit by blue light and viewed through film or an acrylic board of yellow or orange. It was developed in 2008 using Aequorea victoria jellyfish genes, which produce a green fluorescent protein. It continued to undergo refinement in Gunma Prefecture, which resulted in the world-first practical production of fluorescent silk cocoon in 2017. There are hopes for future applications in various fields.
Takemura’s works for this exhibition were made with fluorescent silk provided by the Gunma Sericultural Technology Center, which had preserved the silk for experimentation purposes. For Takemura – who has long used silk thread as a material with which to shed light on things that no longer exist, on memories, and on the accumulation of passed time – this was the material that she was waiting for.





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