Ma Vie en Kimono by Rui Kikuchi

 着付けを始めたのは3年前のこと。

私に着付けを教えてくれた栄子さんはすごく親切してくれたため、なんとしても早く着れるようになりたかった。

栄子さんはお母様から教わったらしく、クリップ、○○ベルトなど着付け用の道具は一切使わない、鏡も見ない、半畳で着れる結構スパルタ法。本当は襟芯もいらないとおっしゃってたお母様。

余計な道具に頼らない、自分の感覚を信じる最も自然な着付け方法やと思う。

着物は出会いやな。

もし着付け教室へ通っていたら辞めてたかもしれへん。こわーい完璧主義先生にいろんな道具を買わらせたら諦めて落ち込んでたわ。

確か、自分で夜中まで泣きながら特訓を毎晩続けた。最初は腕が後ろに回れへんし、汗をかきながら何度も挫折した。

でもそれは1週間だけ。

 完璧を達成したわけでなかったけど、ある峠を越えたら、えーい、一か八かと思い、ドキドキしながら二条城の桜ライトアップを一人で行ってみた。

初めての着物出かけで興奮して、帰りの途中栄子さんに早速電話で報告した。いきなりの電話にびっくりする栄子さんはご主人と爆笑と大喜び。

服を着ることでこんなに幸せになれるんや。着崩さず走って帰れた。

その後、一重太鼓から二重太鼓の帯結びに着々と進ませてくれて、一緒に京都中のお茶会などイベントへ連れてってくださる。

それで、ご家族の着物まで譲ってくださったり、面識のない方々からも、不思議なきっかけで次々とコレクションが増えていく。

「人に着せてもええで。」と割と早く認めてくださって、お茶のクラスメートの着付けをしてあげるようになった。

 始めてから徐々にコツを自分で気づいてきて、今日も研究中。でもこの3年で着る服は完全に和装化する触媒は和裁士の清丸さん。

アトリエでパーティした時に着物で来てくれ、お帰りの際に上前をクリップで留め、ママチャリにひょっと乗る。

「ええ?チャリに乗れるの??」と驚き、彼女を引き止めた。

「スカートと同じやん。」と当たり前のように言われて、ガッテン。

BD—1に乗っている私は一度モンペでまとめてから乗らないといけへんけど、バスに乗らなくてもオールシーズンどこでも着物でいける。雨の日はレインスーツで天気関係なくいつも着物でお茶のお稽古へ。

お茶の先輩たちは「熱心やな」と、笑いながら褒めてくれる。

だって、着物は着たいと思ったらどこにでも着て行ける。お友達とのお出かけ、パーティ、講演会、お買い物、映画鑑賞、美術館、などなど。

 そう、和装化してから洋服を一枚も買ってへん。普段着は作務衣やら、古着をアレンジしたなんちゃって和裁の自制のものもある。

着物着たら自分らしい格好ができるの嬉しい。色と柄合わせも楽しいし、京都の文化の生活に取り入れるプライドを持てるし、

着る物で人からポジティブな反応をいただくのは嬉しい。服を着るだけで周りの人はこんなに幸せにできるんや。

 それで、2年前からうちのクリスくんも和装を着るようになった。

栄子さんのおじいさまの着物を譲ってもらい、自分でYouTubeを検索して独学してん。日本に住み始めた頃は居合道をやっていたため、袴も綺麗に着れるんでバッチグー。。

白人やのに、超似合うねん。

ちょんまげとひげやし、

トムに似てんねん。

出掛けたらいつも知らん人に褒められるし喜ぶねん。

袴を着ているからか、とても自然に動いているからか、レンタルと誤解されなく、地元の人やと認められてる。

 服を着るだけでこんなにハッピー。

 和装生活をもっと広めたいなと思う。手縫いの質感も良いし、生地も好き。日本の歴史でつい最近まで普通に着られていた日本人は着物にもっと馴染んでくれるように何かできんかな。栄子さんへの恩返し、これからの課題ですわ。

むくげ by Rui Kikuchi

 今日、着付けの恩師、中西栄子さんが家のムクゲをうちに届けてくれた。

看板猫は早速一輪を狙って、

花びらを噛み付いてしまった一本を猫じゃらしとして遊んでやったら、花粉だらけになったの猫頭に気づいて、

「ムクゲは猫に毒やったっけ?」一瞬不安。

早速ネットで調べたら百合が猛毒みたい。そのほか、好きなお花もどんどん記載されて、これ植えられへん、あれ植えられへんのリストがたくさん。花を楽しむ猫ライフはないんかい?!

幸いムクゲは載っていなかった。喜びで猫を抱きしめたら毛が汗で顔について鼻の穴まで入ってしまう。はらってもなかなかとれへん。

 ムクゲはお茶の世界でよく飾れている夏の花。こないだからうちのお茶の先生も綺麗な一輪を飾ってくださっている。

不思議なこと、花が終わったら徐々にねじって閉じてその後、頭がコロっと落ちてしまう。

咲き方も枯れ方も綺麗。

エアコンなしの京都夏 - ブログを復活しました。 by Rui Kikuchi

京都の真夏日。昨日梅雨明け宣言されたみたい。

ルイも看板猫も暑さでグッタグタ。

作業が待っているのに手が動かへん。胸の間に汗がとろーんと流れるし、トイレに行ったらパンツがお尻にベトつきになって、なかなか脱げへん。リアルすぎてすいません。

エアコン付けたら済む話ですが、うちはクーラーなしの育ちで、(祖母は大量に電気をくう家電製品に反対、反原発タイプ)家もアトリエにも付けていまへん。

それに、クーラーをかけている部屋に一日過ごしたら体調崩しやすくなったり、喉が痛なって咳が止まらんとか。もともと気管支が弱い私はやっぱり付けたない。

信州の気候に近いコロラド州出身の旦那は一番かわいそうねんけど、彼も電気に依存している社会に不快感を持っているし、一緒に汗を垂らしてくれている。

「あまり我慢してもあかんえ。」と漢方の田村先生から注意。うん、無理はせえへん。

まあ、汗いっぱいかいた後のシャワーは気持ちええ!老廃物を出して美人になるわ!

今日は暑いから制作を少しサボって、税理士の伊藤弥生さんから進められたブログ活動を始めることにした。文章下手の私が「どないして書くねん」と思うたど、「そのうち上手くなる」と後押ししてくれた。彼女によると、月20回ブログ更新したらええと。

え?そんなに話題ないし。いや、ファンが増えたら話題も増えるし、書くペースも早よなるっちゅうことや。長い旅は第一歩から。

はーい。

夏バテ対策にもずくを食べながら書く。初期の文章は下手やと思いますど、だんだん上手くなっていく私の成長を見守ってください。英語で書いても翻訳はしません。日本語で書いても英訳しません。その都度考えている言語、ですますの統一もなく、方言そのまま書いてしまうんで、よろしうお願いします。

 

けしき:Sights of the Everyday, Unseen~ Flow 関連企画:喫茶てん  by Rui Kikuchi

写真撮影:菊地ルイ

「けしき 流れる」をテーマとした裏千家・田中瑠奈さんの点出しによるお茶のおもてなしです。(ご来廊順にご案内いたします)
お抹茶と御菓子丸・杉山さんのお菓子とともに、設えられた点前の道具とあわせて、その「けしき」をお愉しみください。

お茶券 :1,500円
予約制 :限定20枚、当日受付もあり(売切れの場合はご容赦ください)ご予約はFacebookページよりメッセージを送信していただけます。
申込方法:参加ご希望の方はこちらのページから参加表明してください
     代金は当日お支払いください

※当日の最終受付は午後7時までとなりますので、ご予約の方はそれまでにご来廊ください(開場は午後8時まで)予約はFacebookページよりメッセージを送信していただけます。

会場:ギャラリー•アポテーケ(Galerie Apotheke) 〒6048403 京都府 京都市中京区聚楽廻中町40-7

Facebookページはこちらへご覧ください:https://www.facebook.com/events/1615233175394012/

Sights of the Everyday, Unseen : Sway by Rui Kikuchi

 京都、千本丸太町近くのギャラリー・アポテーケにて「けしき (Sights of the Everyday, Unseen) 」の三展シリーズの第1期を担当させていただきます。

2015.9.10まで。 

お茶会、お寿司の関連イベントもございます。詳細はギャラリー・アポテーケのフェースブックページをご覧ください。

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新作の照明とポーズ。 

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米山みどり•菊地ルイ二人展修了 by Rui Kikuchi

東京、荒井アトリエギャラリーで開催された米山みどり•菊地ルイ展は無事終了いたしました!今回も作品は好評であって、ご来場いただいた皆様、ご無沙汰し ていた先輩、会場で出会った新しい友人、それで11年前、日本のアートジュエリー界に飛び込んだ私を初めて支えてくださった荒井泰子さんに大感謝!これからもどうぞよろしくお願いいたします!モデルのジョアンさんもありがとう!

Yoneyama Midori / Kikuchi Rui Exhibition has ended! by Rui Kikuchi

Thank you to all the new friends, old mentors and people who attended my exhibition with textile artist Yoneyama Midori at Arai Gallery in Tokyo. Big thank you to the lady who supported me 11 years ago at the very beginning of my career when I was just a sprout - Arai Yasuko - Thank you so much!
Thank you gorgeous Joanne for modelling my work!

Art Jewellery Challenge Day 3 by Rui Kikuchi

'Facebook Art Jewelry Challenge', was started by Donna Greenberg, in the hope of capturing a diversity of what is happening around the world of art jewellery. A combination of tardiness and preoccupation with other pursuits has resulted in my nomination by not one but four esteemed jewelers (Please see Day One).

So, for 5 days I will show some of my jewellery, and deviating from the rules, I've decided not to nominate anyone else after this day, since I'm naturally adverse to virulent movements on the internet, and everyone I like has been taken already. As consolation, I hope that my friends and colleagues will instead be entertained with some autobiographical notes.

Day Three:

Life after graduation is a lonely road, full of uncertainty from being prized off the comforts of community and the facilities that one has come to rely on and take for granted in the insulated cradle that is university.

Like most, my life of making and running after capital trapezed to and fro and frustration soon mounted. Stepping out into the wide world from the glitter and congratulatory hype of the sandstone Great Hall never managed to equip me with confidence in technique, the weapon of impression that wows an audience. Or at least I had forgotten to collect my issue on the way out of the armoury. I was therefore unable to reconcile the title which I had been bestowed, disguised in the robe of a Bachelor with the rags of an utter amateur underneath. Yet the thought of abandoning my education to fall prisoner to the side of Job-of-no-Relevance-to-my-Degree was sickening. So, I felt no choice but to plunge into an apprenticeship in the lonely countryside of Japan.

Lady Hindsight would have urged me to exercise the virtue of patience and seek a variety of options and geographies but she is cursed to come too late. Anyway, it didn't go so well - I dived too deep and couldn't tread the mess. My curious and out-going personality was accused of 'being too Australian', though really, I would prefer the origin of my character to be attributed to my activist grandmother and the spirits of the anarchists I was named after. Neither did my inability to stray from the Osakan dialect help my standing. I expected too much of myself and consequently those around me and that level ended up being proportional to   Not even a year had passed and I retreated to familial land, my neck drooping and tail between my legs.

What to do now.
With my hand-made jeweller's bench shoved into a closet in a small apartment (See Day 2), I levered making with teaching English to kids and babies too young to formulate a word in any language.

Boredom and frustration with excessive education for the ungrateful privileged soon settled, but a year spent at the Itami College of Jewelry finally ironed out some of the bad habits I had of the fundamentals.  After graduation, I started a jewellery series based on floral forms which were received well, and became in demand. Sawing these delicate patterns in the metal revealed a paradox - where jewels of natural motifs, that purport to be inspired by the beauty of nature use processes and materials that contribute to its utter destruction. All the shiny dragonflies at once seemed to tarnish in my mind. It became more and more absurd to imitate the forms present in life, because it seemed rather pointless for humans to depict nature in place of it.

Other glaring paradoxes started to gnaw at the fabric of my consciousness. When was it, that  Japan's wonderful biodiversity and our innate sense of oneness with nature and our reverence of its spirits become to be undermined by modern methods of consumption and our actions and reactions toward materials and objects. Here it is very noticeable that people’s interaction with objects now has come to be defined by a specific role and purpose and has little no emotional bearing on the user. As a result an object is used and disposed of once this function is fulfilled. For example, packaging, paper, electronic items are satisfies a perceived need but is then thrown away, seemingly without a second thought.
The consequence of this behaviour is not only the overconsumption of goods, a nonchalant insatiability and worse, the narrowing of our scope towards the definition of beauty.
I began to wonder why is something is perceived to have little value in the first place? Why do conventions about value affect personal opinions about beauty?

One day I just happened to notice a floral pattern on the bottom of a plastic bottle of tea that I kept at my bench. There was something that was beautiful  - a mixture of function and aesthetics - and a sense of pity. as it had come from an assembly line that qualifies speed can low cost as ideal qualities.  I wondered if it can be turned into a piece of jewellery, and after about a year of experimentation, failure, rethinking and pushing, I was awarded the Good Material Award at the Itami International Craft Competition, with the works shown here. They were the first in the series of "PLAnta",  which I have continued to make to this day. The series then garnered much attention in "Signs of Change - Jewellery to Make a Better World", curated by Kevin Murray and held at FORM in the city of Perth during the Jewellers' and Metalsmiths' Group of Australia's (JMGA) biennial conference in 2010.

Since then people have said that my works look like anemones or algae. I’m sure that having been immersed in the ocean, I found sea life to be beautiful in their grotesqueness and peaceful in its abundance. Although these experiences must influence my work, I am not conscious of presenting my pieces to resemble marine life, rather as I play and experiment with the material, I learn of the potential that is hidden within it. I find that the material itself speaks and teaches me about what kind of augmentations and transformations it wants to take. Control of nature I found, is not just about domination over a certain material but a type of conversation and cooperation perhaps, a harnessing of an ability to listen and to recognise that the material also strives to become beautiful. That's how I've come to reconcile the role of the human being making objects with the semblance of nature.

I feel discomfort if my work is interpreted as being “precious garbage”, simply because this is a contradiction. (If a piece of garbage was precious, it is not garbage).
I am also doubtful that my work speaks truthfully about environmental consciousness either because my works have taken an x amount of calories to produce, and am not making a net return of those calories to the ecological system, therefore I don’t think they qualify as being up-cycled either. These are just the doubts I have towards the quality of my work. I really just want people to see that anything can become beautiful and cherish the objects in their lives.

This quasi-philosophy took on a bizarre significance to me,  because in March of the the following year the earthquake happened.

The cities, towns and fishing villages directly facing the shoreline in the Tohoku region of Japan had literally turned upside down and inside out by the ferocious tsunami that came after the quake. Two months later, during a volunteer mission to clear debris, one victim described to me the sound of the wall of water as been like a insane stampede of horses. People's livelihoods, homes, schools, and families had been thrown out into the open, then bulldozed to clear the streets, then bulldozed again or packed into bags, stacked or heaped into miserable mountains on school grounds, awaiting clearance again. The city of Ishinomaki, where I had spent most of my time during that tumultuous year, was for a time, churning with aftershocks, battered by the smell of decay and rotting fish, the whirring of Self Defense Force helicopters looking for bodies, hype and naive excitement of volunteers, the roar of the supply trucks, and the vibes of restless, hopeful, anxious, impatient, traumatised and thankful survivors.
Looking around, the bizarre thing was that despite all the achievements of people, their sturdy buildings of concrete and steel were all toppled like toys, yet the grasses and the flowers started to spring up and thrive early on, undeterred by events that are tragedies in the human mind.

Today is the fourth anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. I still don't know what I've learnt from seeing the scenes. Now, the rubble is gone and clear space is being filled up abandoned for good.  Today I think back to those events, being humbled and confused and still will be for some time.

橋本大輔 天目展 by Rui Kikuchi

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先日、比叡平に工房をもつ橋本さんの天目展に行ってきました。器の面に小宇宙が浮かんできて、釉薬の塗り方や、窯の温度、酸素濃度による多様な模様は魅力的。

彼の神秘的な青に惹かれて奈良の展覧会まで足を運んだら大喜びしてくれた。相棒の誕生日が近かったために薄い青に黒い結晶の盃を購入。せっかくの小旅におしゃべりに忙しすぎて、奈良を観光もできず特急で帰っちゃった。

今回の展覧会は3月17日まで。大丸京都店、6階。

「Comments」展 by Rui Kikuchi

 シドニーのGaffa Gallery にて現在作品展示しています!Michelle Genders氏のキュレーションにより、「コメント」は政治、社会正義、環境保護のテーマとしたジュエリーを紹介しています。

参加作家:
Alexandra Darby
Anna Davern
Claire McArdle
Felix Gill
Fiona Meller
Jan Turzo
Karen Strang
Karin Findeis
Lorena Lazard
Luke John Matthew Arnold
Melissa Cameron
Michal Oren
Neke Moa
Suse Scholem
Rui Kikuchi
Vernon Bowden
Zoe Brand

詳しい情報はこちら:https://unlimitedsubstance.wordpress.com/exhibition-5-comments/

Comments Exhibition in Sydney by Rui Kikuchi

My work is showing in Sydney right now at Gaffa Gallery! "Comments", the fifth installment from the exhibition series "Unlimited Substance" opened last night with great success. Thank you to Michelle Genders who curated this exhibition!
For more information please visit:

https://unlimitedsubstance.wordpress.com/exhibition-5-comments/

第3回国際交流展 International Contemporary Jewelry Exhibition 2015 《young & energetic・ up-and coming》 by Rui Kikuchi

東京品川区大井町にあるジュエリー作家、平岩共代さんのギャラリーCreate Space Tokyoをクリスくんと伺いしました。駅から徒歩5分ぐらいの途中、まるでタイムスリップした懐かしい「すずらん通り」商店街を通り抜き、小さなギャラリーへ到着しました。
今回の展覧会は日本、韓国とノルウエーの若手ジュエリー作家17名作品が展示され、私の見慣れている作品への先入観かもしれないが、三島一能さんは選抜した日本代表の作品は3各国の中で一番輝いていた気がしまして、特に三島さんのシンプルで男性らしい造形とデザインに惹かれました。3月5日まで。

参加アーティスト:
JAPAN : 池山晃広・小山泰之・小嶋崇嗣・田口史樹・三島一能
NORWAY : Anna Talbot・Hedda Bjerkeli・Helene J.Linkosuonio・Runa Vethal Stølen
KOREA : Healim Shin・Hyejung Sin・Junsuk Min・Jieun Park・Jungeun Park・Joohyun Lee・Sungho Cho・Yeseul Seo


 

Art Jewellery Challenge Day Two by Rui Kikuchi

'Facebook Art Jewelry Challenge', was started by Donna Greenberg, in the hope of capturing a diversity of what is happening around the world of art jewellery. A combination of tardiness and preoccupation with other pursuits has resulted in my nomination by not one but four esteemed jewelers (Please see Day One).

So, for 5 days I will show some of my jewellery, and each day I will also nominate another artist to show us his/her jewellery, though so late in this chain I am running out of friends on Facebook to nominate, so I apologise in advance if one has shown their work previously or are just bored with this initiative.

Day Two:
The works below are a series I produced for the exhibition "By Example - Australian Contemporary Jewellery" curated by Karin Findeis and was shown at the Itami Museum of Arts and Crafts in 2010. A survey of the current waves in Australian jewellery, two younger participants are selected through nomination by their former mentors, but the confines of space and practicality inevitably produces some glaring omissions. Hard choices had to be made by the curator with the list of candidates blowing out exponentially.

Even before that though, the concept of the exhibition had a hard time getting into the first gear, as the creative organiser of the host institution, Fumiko Tsubo had much to convince the mayor and other municipal bureaucrats of the viability of the show. Two years previously, the British contributions did not cause much excitement, tempting the city to consolidate and keep programmes more local. Could the Australians do better? I wasn't privy to the arguments but thankfully Tsubo sensei won out, and the project got another boost with confirmation of funding from the Australia Council. The museum staff, not used to receiving money from national governments and skeptical of such avenues due to the ongoing drought in interest and support in Japan, were ecstatic. They could hardly believe it.

Meanwhile back in Sydney, Karin was left with the arduous task of putting together the actual exhibition, while I pitched in from time to time with meetings, interpreting, drawing up press releases and even appearing on local radio.

The series "Physis"  that I eventually submitted came about when I was milling through my grandfather's drawers of forgotten tools in my hometown of Mino.  Niro was a humble man having escaped the great incendiary bombing of Osaka City, death through conscription and battled food shortages in the aftermath of the Second World War.  His life was one of austerity and humility and the shelves put together by his resourceful hand showed it. It was a lifestyle of prosperity based on principles of poverty.  I loved his collection of random household elements - hooks, pins and baubles - and from his neglected stockpiles of nails I decided to make some jewellery.

Valerie, the much loved workshop technician at Sydney College of the Arts once dumped another pile of nails on my desk when she heard what I was doing. Her father had passed away some years before - and even she, despite being the regina instrumentum was forced to concede much of his tools to the dumping ground. Of the things that she had left she told me to make good use of it, and I packed the rusty iron into my suitcase back to Osaka and set to work.

The pieces were forged into elongated lines or broad tails, the heads cupped and made into spoon forms or pods, then blackened and wrapped or set in 18K gold.

Producing them proved to be an extreme challenge,  technical considerations, pressure from feeling too immature for inclusion not withstanding, as an old apartment of wood and paper construction was certainly not the ideal place to be forging steel (See Day One and Shota's problem). The impacts and vibrations were causing headaches to my elderly neighbours, particularly in the extreme humidity of summer and all my open windows.

They were finished in the following spring but in the 11th hour and Karin was growing restless. The exhibition had been the usual headache to organise-  juggling the logistics of so many participants, the multitude of paperwork to present at customs, going through the tedious process of ensnaring grants and communicating with an international venue of another language and culture, the day of installation was closing in -  and mine was the only work she hadn't seen.

Karin never painted these stresses on her face but I finally presented my work at her hotel lobby under the harsh glare of fluorescent lights. As I unwrapped the tissue paper, I felt like a nocturnal marsupial being pulled out of its burrow, but knew that she had liked the results.
"They're quite beautiful", she remarked.
Only three words, but Karin tends to only make full comments on things that require criticism for lack of attention to detail or the harsh words of scrutiny towards conceptual vagueness. Having risen to her seemingly impossible bar, I was relieved and so was my nominator.

A few days later the opening was buzzing - the Japanese audience had taken a liking to the colour, wearability and the striking forms of much of the presented pieces, the mayor could recognise them as jewellery at least and the hosts delighted in receiving a substantial proportion of the artists.  There was twinkle in Tsubo sensei's eyes and a great cultural exchange was taking place.
The Australians had made a great impression.

The first necklace below can be seen in the exhibition catalogue "By Example" published in 2010.  

For the second day, I nominate my friend and fellow university alumnus Saori Kita. whom I met when I was doing a residency at my alma mater. Strange things happen when you are with Saori - her coquettish frivolity is absolutely infectious and your whole body becomes consumed. Looking back to the JMGA conference in Perth, I entirely attribute my inability to stop giggling during the whole conference to her. By her bad influence we ticked off every Japanese girl stereotype with our incessant laughter and excitement, even getting a few laughs out of a bemused Karl Fritsch.
Furicchi (as he is known to us, but unbeknownst to him), would later be a great influence on Saori and her experimentation with rough stones and silver casting. She's recently back home in Japan after a long stint in Australia much to my pleasure. I'm glad to be ever extending my network of young jewellery artists.