The artist Corinne Okada Takara incorporates a myriad of materials including scrap cloth, silks, netting, wire, newspapers, food wrappers, and plastics. In her personal statement, she indicates that the use of these odd materials is to represent the coming together of fractured parts to make a whole. Her work is inspired by the places she’s lived and visited and by the stories of places she’s never been. Her stay in Hawaii is what roused the use of plastic netting as is used in graduation candy leis in Hawaii. The use of candy wrappers is also associated with this visit. In this particular piece Jan Ken Po, Okada depicts scissors, another implement in her expression of pieces of a culture. Her use of comic cut outs and food wrappers speaks to modern cultural associations with her ethnic background and also implies a changing of the times as she doesn’t represent her background with traditional art but rather through accessible articles such as food and entertainment. The way she describes her work is the pulling apart and reassembling of artifacts. Her art represents the conflict of second generation American immigrants. The patchwork of different material symbolizes the cohesion of her heritage, her experiences and her present. Asian Americans are somewhere between “worlds” as we may call it. They still lay claim to where their family came from, but being born in the states, they have ties here as well, this comes through in their art.
Use the link to flip the image over and see the back:) http://www.okadadesign.com/kimono_3_jkp.html
Jan Ken Pon
2001 Size: 5.5′ x 5′ x 6″
Media: wire, silk, scissors, produce netting, nylon netting and handmade paper of rice paper, Japanese comics and candy wrappers.
Sold: The Peabody Essex Museum, Boston, MA.
Photo: George R. Young