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Artist Statement

From the start of her freelance career, Textile & Fiber Artist MIKA YAJIMA produced mainly on order artwork to hotels,
corporate buildings, Airport lounges, etc., for architectural spaces by using original techniques - weaving, knotting,
winding, collage, and polyester coating with fibre material. A paradoxical combination of thin thread and metal,
light and heavy, soft and hard, and the like are her hallmarks. From 2006, she exhibited some conceptual
installations pursuing more spirituality with stronger messages. In recent years, she has made a transformation
from folk art materials and ancient traditional techniques to the contemporary arts returning to the original
self-cultivated material series -Asian royal fern, Basho fiber, Kudzu fiber etc., that continues from her art college days,
something that cannot be done with machines, digital tools, or AI. And she is now focusing a variety style of
expressions using weaving techniques and materials to tapestries, frameworks, installations, and mixed-media,
what based on a consistent theme. It seems like a divine grace that "catalyst by mordant metal compound produce
to vivid colors in natural dyeing. For the artist, such as braiding, twisting, winding, spinning, weaving etc.,
by adding the essence that comes up from artist's inside through the palm of the hand, the fibre and
paradoxical materials harmonized, feeling the moment when a new soul breathed into the works, it is the artist's
greatest pleasure and ultimate purpose. She has received the International Award, 'Lorenzo il Magnifico' the 2nd Prize
in Textile & Fiber Art category at FLORENCE BIENNALE XII 2019 with Sprang-tapestry using Prime numbers.

2019年10月フローレンス ビエンナーレXII"アートと発明:レオナルド・ダ・ヴィンチ没後500年-相似と発明の



Born 1965, Kochi Prefecture, Japan. Raised by her parents, who were both educators. In high school, she discovered
an ambition to practice dyeing and weaving, and in order to study under Professor Akiko Shimanuki, a pioneer of
Japan's tapestry world, she enrolled on the Textile Design course of Tokyo Zokei University's Department of Design,
in 1988. The discovery of her great-grandmother's belongings in the family warehouse, and the realization that she
had practiced dyeing and weaving, led her to the experience of personally cultivating and gathering Asian-royal-fern
and raw cotton fibers on the land of her ancestors, cutting down the Basho banana plants that had grown wild there,
and weaving the thread by hand. The theme of her graduation piece was 'Basho, paper cloth and Asian-royal-fern's
eaving - fusing independently transmitted dyeing and weaving folk craft materials that have never before met',
and included research on materials and a tapestry piece. After her graduation, the piece won the incentive award
at the '89 Asahi Contemporary Craft Exhibition, and was bought by her employer at the time, ICHIDA Corporation.

In 1988 she joined the business department of ICHIDA Corporation's Tokyo Kimono Division as a regular employee,
and spent 2 years in charge of merchandising specially selected kimono made by a variety of craftspeople including
Japanese living national treasures. She spent a further 2 years in the marketing room of the sales department
in charge of sales promotion for events such as a cultural event where imperial and samurai daily clothes
and furnishings were exhibited, and a special event involving several thousand consumers,
before leaving the company in 1992 to go freelance.

While in the process of attempting semi-three-dimensional modelling by carrying out resin treatment on textiles she
had woven herself, in 1993, through an introduction by the art business company she was formally employed at,
she offered technical cooperation for a golf course lounge artwork project run by a construction company.
From then on, she was able to specialize in architectural spaces, and handle order-made artwork that involved
building up the space while directly exchanging opinions with architects and clients.

After giving birth and while bringing up her child, she jointly produced original artwork for hotel rooms with a focus
on collage, in a collaboration with other female designers. Representative works include the 1995 Seoul Garden Hotel
series where all main floors of the hotel were decorated with art deco YAJIMA works, a 1998 private work for the
entrance hall of the ambassador's residence in Hanoi of country J which had strips of woven in metal bars coated
in gold leaf as its motif, and a 1999 work for Yokohama Media Tower Entrance Hall, which became the work by the
youngest female artist among works in the Minatomirai area. From 1998 to 2005 she designed artworks for the
entrance halls of the international and domestic Sakura Lounges of Japan Airlines at airports with an emphasis on theme.

At the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2006 she exhibited a cloth installation consisting of a 300m membrane structure
on a ski slope in summer and in the same year at Yokohama ZAIM she experienced a participatory installation where
citizens decorated the outside of the building with origami silver balloons for Christmas. At the same solo exhibition,
'INSIDE', she took on the challenge of a collaboration with a musical piece composed by a child - 'Moon Flowers' -
conducted an exhibition where participants drank rose tea in an aromatic space, while tasting and enjoying the space,
and in other ways attempted to express the 'INSIDE Inner-heart' through constructing spaces made up
not just of looking and showing, but with the five senses plus the sixth sense as their total.

Recently, to a base consisting of the research theme she has more or less continued since her university days - the
self-cultivated and selected plant fibers from her birth place in Kochi - she has added the unique essence of her
experience at work that involved her in kimono fabric and the creation of architectural spaces, resuming her attempt
to transform folk craft dyeing and weaving into modern art. In what way are those expressions felt by people from
overseas? In 2014 she began displaying her works overseas at selective exhibitions and in other ways, and in 2016
one of those works won the Nicholas Usherwood Prize at the Japanese artist's competition held in London. From
2017, she participated in several art fairs, and was shortlisted for the 'Royal Art Prize V. Edition 2018', and nominated
for the International Artist Award at The World Art Dubai 2018, UAE. In 2019 she received the International Award
'Lorenzo il Magnifico' the 2nd Prize in Textile & Fiber Art category at FLORENCE BIENNALE XII "ARS ET INGENIUM:
Toward Leonardo da Vinci's Legacy of Similitude and Invention" with Sprang tapestry using Prime numbers.


YAJIMA作品となった1995年Seoul Garden Hotel作品群、1998年 金箔貼金属棒を織込み帯をモチーフとした
となった1999年 横浜メディアタワーエントランスホール作品等。1998年-2005年テーマ性を重視した
日本航空JAL国内外のサクララウンジ エントランスホールアートワークを担当する。
参加型インスタレーションを体験。同個展INSIDEにおいては子供の作曲した音楽-Moon Flowersとの

スプラングシリーズを加えた一連の作品群はUAEアラブ首長国連邦におけるアートフェア ワールド・アート・ドバイ
2018インターナショナル・アーテイスト賞選考候補となった。2019年10月フローレンス ビエンナーレXII

                         Natural Fiber Materials Series



Published by MIKA YAJIMA 矢島路絵
All rights reserved since July, 2003