Artistic collaboration with Yumi Okita, Japanese Fiber Artist
Yumi’s interest in fiber art started 19 years ago, when she brought an antique kimono back home from Japan. After studying 3D Fine Art in college and ceramics in graduate school, she became attracted to the kimono’s bright colour designs and patterns, and then added texture of the intricate embroidery, although as a rule she worked with metal, clay and wood. She then started making handbags and accessories out of this material, exploring all its intriguing possibilities. She eventually began to create her own fabrics, dyeing cotton fabric, as well as drawing designs on it. A common motif she chose were insects, especially moths and butterflies. As her work developed, the shape of the insects became more three dimensional (attaching structured wings, using faux fur for the body of the butterfly, and fixing antennae), to the point where it eventually became a whole sculptured piece in itself, without the bags. From her imagination, she recreates the beauty of these insects, intentionally exaggerating their size.
The moth and butterfly sculptures are made with cotton fabric with wings hand-embroidered with a single thread of cotton thread. Each wing is hand-stitched with layers of different tones of colored thread to give depth and texture. Different materials are used and combined together to create a piece – wires for the legs are wrapped with painted fabric, antennae are wrapped with thread or perhaps feathers, with faux fur for the body. The moths and butterflies Yumi creates are sometimes real existing species, sometimes coming straight from her imagination. She tries to make them as realistic as possible, so that the viewer stops and is confronted by their existence.
As both Maison Adler and Yumi Okita love nature and are inspired by her, it was only natural for them to get in touch and create a whole world of wonders to take visitors into a delightful whimsical mood.
For the collaboration with Maison Adler, Yumi has chosen all existing species of moths and butterflies, in order to share her interpretation of the beauty and complicated yet inspiring design nature offers us.