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Yuen no Akari: Light from Far-Away Space
Setsuko Obi (b. 1942)

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Date: 2001

Materials: Antique Japanese fabrics and hand-woven silk

Dimensions: 78 3/4 × 48"

Credit: Gift of the artist

Accession Number: 2001.30.1

Photo credit: Gavin Ashworth

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Description

Yuu: broad and magnificent En: remote and far away Akari: light

The evocation of light and space through gradual shifts in color has been the primary focus of this quilt artist. Setsuko Obi began to quilt in 1977, when she and her husband moved from Japan to Los Angeles for a period of five years. She became intrigued by the sensation of depth that could be achieved in a single-block construction solely through subtle color changes. The complicated pieced block that the artist has devised is reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The fabrics are primarily from antique Japanese kimonos and futons, including aizome (indigo), sarasa (chintz), shima (stripe), kohshi (check), and muslin. The center motifs are mostly hanagara momen (floral pattern cottons), while stripes and checks are used for the edges. The border is made from hand-woven silk (tsumugi) which was purchased directly from weavers in local towns. The artist describes the effect of the 231 blocks in this quilt as a “sublime and mysterious light” emerging from blue-black space.

Stacy C. Hollander, label caption from the exhibition "Quilted Constructions: The Spirit of Design, 2001."


Yuen no Akari: Light from Far-Away Space
Date: 2001
Artist:
Dimensions: 78 3/4 × 48"
Materials: Antique Japanese fabrics and hand-woven silk
Credit Line: Gift of the artist
Place/Region: Japan, Tokyo
Accession Number: 2001.30.1
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