Sequence - Sashiko on vintage fabric

Oscillated  / Transmitted - Sashiko on cotton

Entangled - Sashiko on cotton and vintage silk

Symphony of a Thousand Frogs

As a result of a 3 month residency in Japan in collaboration with Ruben Mols, two exhibitions were presented, one at Kumagusuku SAS Kyoto and one at Japanese cultural center Shofukan Rotterdam.

Both artists share a great interest in the immaterial aspects of our lives. The element time plays a central role in the presentations. Zoë's works are the result of meditative exercises during which time dissolved and she got to listen closely to her environment. Ruben's works are reflections on technologies and their temporal, fluent and ever evolving character. 

In Japan Zoë researched the Japanese art of Sashiko. This is a type of embroidery in which clothing and other textiles are decorated with patterns for decorative and functional purposes. In addition to the patterns strengthening the fabric and thereby making it more sustainable, the patterns reflect the environment of local populations and families. In the past, personal patterns were designed within families and regions that also had a symbolic function, to give good fortune in work or school for example. In this way, the pattern reveals a lot about the maker's immediate environment. With this in mind, during her residency Zoë started to develop her own style of Sashiko, as a way to establish her local presence. Using fabrics and yarns she found in the area. At the same time, embroidery is such a slow and subdued activity that it also creates space to listen to and reflect on the environment. While embroidering at different locations, Zoë made many sound recordings that later will be used for compositions and performances. At a farm in Iberaki, a thousand frogs surrounded them with their songs. As in Japan the word Kaeru (frog) also means to return, it’s a symbol to return home safely. With that knowledge Zoë and Ruben decided that the sound of the frogs should become the title and soundtrack of their exhibition.

Photographs by Loes van Duijvendijk (at Shofukan), Chinatsu Oda (at Kumagusuku SAS)

The exhibition Symphony of a Thousand Frogs is made possible by the generous support of CBK Rotterdam and Jump! Talenthub.

Exhibition view at Kumagusuku SAS Kyoto

Exhibition view at Shofukan Rotterdam

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