Passing her a piece of cloth

4K video (Consists of 9 pieces, [looped]), bagworm, cotton(Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori), tree branch

Exhibition view: Aichi Triennale 2022 "STILL ALIVE" (30 July–10 October 2022).

Arimatsu-Shibori (Arimatsu tie-dye) | Shibori-Dyeing Kuno-Studio

Advises on bagworm ecology | Shuhei Niitsu (Tokyo Metropolitan University), Takao K. Suzuki and Wataru Iwasaki (The University of Tokyo)

Prodction of Uchiwa (round fan) | Yuki Hachiya (Hachiya-Uchiwa Arts&Crafts)

Coordinator | Ayuko Oda (Aichi Triennale 2022)

Making movie / director of photography and editing | Eisuke Asaoka

MA of making movie | Yutaka Ito (Ito Ongaku-sha)

Cooperation of video editing | Ryohei Suga

Visual Programming | Hitoshi Takeuchi

Advises on conservation and restoration | Tomoyo Yoshioka

Production assistants | Satoko Shibahara, Ayako Yoshinoya

Cooperation | Maho Kubota Gallery

Special thanks | Hideo Iwasaki (Waseda University)

AKI INOMATA is known for her observations of the various distinctive characteristics of life in the natural world, and her works made in “collaboration” with non-human creatures such as hermit crabs, beavers, and pearl oysters. For this exhibition, the artist worked with Shibori-Dyeing Kuno-Studio to create a kind of confusion of the tie-dyeing techniques developed in Arimatsu and the techniques used by minomushi bagworm moth larvae to create their nests. In Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori, the cloth is tied with thread, sewn and tightened, to create areas that will not take on the dye, and then dyed with a variety of patterns. INOMATA felt that this cloth in its wrapped state resembled a bagwormʼs protective cases, so she gave bagworms some Arimatsu tie-dyed cloth and asked them to make protective cases with it.

The House of Oka where INOMATA exhibits her work is a shibori tie-dye wholesaler in Arimatsu founded in the late Edo period. On display in this former workshop space is a video work entitled Passing her a piece of cloth (2022), which depicts a bagworm eating leaves while wearing a beautiful Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori protective cases. In this space with a high-ceilinged skylight, a bagworm wearing an Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori coat is displayed attached to a twig. It is said that more than 100 different patterns were created as Arimatsu-Narumi Shibori was developed, and some of the techniques used in this work are Yatara Miura Shibori, Karamatsu Shibori, Nuisuji Mokume Shibori, Boshi Shibori, Hinode Shibori, Kikai Kumo Shibori, and others.

INOMATA has also developed a new tie-dye technique based on that seen on the wings of the bagworm moth after it emerges from its chrysalis. This pattern is taken from the fungus-feeding bagworm and the wood boring moth, a species that is evolutionarily older than the common bagworm moth, and whose adult females also turn into moths and fly with their wings. This new bagworm moth pattern has been made into a fan and displayed together with chests of drawers and other objects from the Oka familyʼs Shinzashiki. The wing-shaped fan creates a breeze, as if the bagworm moth were flying.(*1)
*1──Aichi Triennale 2022 official website :

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