At last! Pictures from Kami Kami.
The pieces fit beautifully at Montauk, Tomomi's Atelier, and of course she has an impeccable eye for design touches, like the sweet tamoe-bana branch hanging from the ceiling. (Those are her works to the bottom right, which she's been busy making and selling since she opened last month.)
Despite my limited Japanese, we've managed to have great conversations about inspiration, making art, and the way things always turn out differently than what you originally intented.
I explained that most of the time I can't think too much about the meaning of a piece before I start, otherwise I get too hung up on that and there's no flow. But then sometimes I worry I didn't think enough, and and maybe there's no meaning... That's when it's gratifying to show my work to other people and get their ideas.
Today a friend stopped by to see the art, and offered the kind of articulate reflection I'd been craving. We talked about how it's harder to see your own culture, and sometimes it takes a foreigner to show you the things you take for granted about what's all around you. She was thrilled that I'd taken pages from cast-away books, like old maps and train timetables that Japanese people might have simply overlooked.
She went on about different historic travelers who have come to this island and been influenced by its aesthetics; how art can be like a conversation between countries, and how the maps combined with the kami no ke illustrated this exchange. Perfect! Exactly what I meant.
I also created smaller post-card sized pieces that look like this:
The brown paper is ever-popular, as are the hand drawings. Let's hope they're a hit!