Working again on the analoge slides from Iran. It was a most alienating experience and as a matter of fact a very nice and warm one too. I was the last artist who got the chance to get a funded residency at the Austrian embassy in Tehran in 2016. After that it was closed for good and the regime became even more restrictive towards foreigners and local artists. Since then is very hard to get into the country as foreign artist and work there at a residency.
As a guest of the Kunstverein Oberwallis (KVO) and the municipality of Brig-Glis I worked in the studio in the Fernanda of Stockalperhaus. From July 4 on, I showed what was created there under the title “Prosthetic Memories” in the KVO gallery “zur Matze”.
Lothar Berchtold wrote in the Walliser Bote 2.7.2020:
You can discover portable sculptures from old books and with current texts and drawings, lamb skulls covered with holy images and text, and reading woods. What she wants with her art? “To conserve things that are subject to decay and destruction, and thus to give old things a new existence,” the artist answers us during our visit to her studio.
Working on different Taxidermy objects in Brig to get ready for the exhibition in July.
I arrived in Switzerland one week before the lockdown facing not only the pandemic but also a three month isolation in my apartment and studio. Fortunately the residence was located in the old castle of Kaspar Stockalper built in the 17th century. On the bright side I could start working for my solo exhibition ‘Prosthetic Memories’ without any distraction. My focus was on wearable paper sculptures, taxidermy objects and some Covid related drawings. The residency lasted until August with the main exhibition in July when public events were possible again.
Born in isolation, the project “Prosthetic Memories” was originally inspired by Max Frisch’s story: Man appears in the Holocene. “Disasters are known only by man, nature knows no disasters” writes the author. His protagonist, alone in a valley in Ticino, he deals with the loss of memory in the narrative.
Onishi: In 2019 finally I was able to acquire my own home in Japan. Before that I rented different places all these years, where I stayed for a few months. By the way, this is the first house I ever owned. Together with my family I hope to settle down here soon. The house consists mainly of an old part, which was built 80 years ago in the traditional style. The rooms for the children, the kitchen and the bathroom were later built in modern style. The newest structure on our property is the garage. It is huge and will be transformed into a stylish studio for my work. And a motorcycle for my husband, I guess.
About 90km from Tokyo it is a reasonable commute. With two Onsen in town and woods and mountains around the corner I experienced it as a perfect place for work and leisure. But best of all I made a lot of friend over the years, many of them artists, which I am so eager to meet.
The silk store in Onishi was transformed into a cultural gathering by Shiro Oni Studio. Working on my paper garments at the place also inspired me to start a silkworm farm.
In Onishi I had the possibility to show the garments I made not only through an exhibition. Being blessed with such wonderful friends, who also can pose as such elegant models, I was able to present my garments in their best light. On the long shot this is the first step to develop a performance on stage, which will be shown in Japan in 2021.
This time in my second hometown Onishi I was showing the output of my three month of work. On display were five different garments at the Kinuya building. It is a cultural hub in and a former silk trader shop about 300 metres from my own house I bought a couple of month later.
A month before I was part of the group show with three of the same garments. This exhibition by all the artists of the Shiro Oni residency was held in the old sake brewery.
The experience in Daegu was shared with some Korean artists who also happened to share a residency space at that very same moment. And then I was lucky enough to team up with Adam a very gifted visual artist from Ireland. Under all the circumstances which some times made it not always easy for me as a foreign woman in Korea, Adam was my rock I always could hold on. The portrait sessions had some kind of special twist as I happened to create also transcultural garments which referred to Japanese and Korean history and methods of expression. This cultural crossover was quite delicate and not easy to handle as some tensions seem to be still unsolved.
Open Day at the Copper Leg Residency in March. The venue was originally an old school building which was rededicated as a cultural hub for all kind of matters. By itself the building was a little remote but the opening was well attended and a good way to learn to know some people I would later work with.