Artist: Kiki Ando
Title: Eggplant Sugar Bowl, 茄子の砂糖入れ
Size: 60mm high x 132mm wide x 60mm deep
Material: Glazed earthenware vessel
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Kiki Ando was born in Numazu City, Japan and works across textile, ceramics, performance and design. In 2003 Ando moved from Japan to Melbourne, where she resides today. Ando graduated from the Melbourne School of Fashion while living and working at the art studio and gallery, The Foundry. In 2007, Ando moved to Berlin to explore textiles and music. While in Berlin, Ando also worked collaboratively with electronic pop band Private Posh Club. Ando returned to Melbourne in 2009 and in 2012, went on to design costumes for dance performance DasSHOKU SHAKE!, which toured Australia and Japan. In 2015, Ando worked as co-director and puppet and prop designer on the film project Studio 3 in East Timor. Ando continues to explore multi-disciplinary artistic forms, with a particular focus on ceramics, costume design and Butoh performance. She performs regularly in Australia, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Nature is one of the artist’s greatest inspirations. Kiki grew up in Numazu City, Eastern Shizuoka Prefecture, near Mt. Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan and Suruga Bay, the country’s deepest bay. The mountains and ocean surrounding her home influenced Kiki’s love of nature.
When Kiki was a child, she spent a lot of time playing alone in the rice fields, but she was also often very unwell. Kiki recalls lying on a futon with high fevers and spending long weeks at home with nothing to do but read and draw; botanical picture books were her favourite. Another formative experience for Kiki was a school project on Hayao Miyazaki’s 1984 film Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Her enduring impression of the film was one of shock at the brutal tension between the natural and human worlds.
A great source of inspiration also forged in Kiki’s childhood, was the creative spirit of her mother Hiroko, whose zōri (Japanese sandals) and patchwork quilted Kimonos feature in this exhibition. When Kiki was unwell as a child, Hiroko avoided Western medicine and looked to traditional Japanese remedies and alternative diets to help heal her. Hiroko studied the macrobiotic diet and skilfully taught herself macrobiotic cooking.
Across all elements of Kiki’s expansive art making, we can see hints of traditional Japanese artistic practices. These include Boro, which are mended or re-woven textiles and Kamiko, hand-made paper clothing. She is also inspired by Butoh, a unique form of expressive movement that crosses the boundaries between dance and theatre. Kiki creates with the Japanese traditional practices as a starting point, freely crossing borders between mediums."
Excerpt from 'Highest Mountain and Deepest Bay' curators introduction, by Rafaela Pandolfini