|Kaiten Zushi, closed and open|
There is so much that I love about her work. The attention to detail, the humor, the sheer skill involved, the scale. I could go on and on. There is a suggestion of the early Surrealists, Joseph Cornell, and a dash of Monty Python, as well as her own, very Japanese sensibility. There is also an overwhelming sense of the female about these pieces. I am so glad I was lucky enough to discover her work, as the show was closing the weekend we visited.
The only disappointment was in the museum store. No catalog. The Morikami was selling some jewelry she had created — they were pretty brushed-silver pieces, but nothing like the whimsical pieces in the show. An opportunity missed. Now if they had been selling this clever brooch ...
The artwork was exhibited under glass. They just begged to be played with. Thankfully, there was this wonderful video on display, which helps bring the work to life. I will definitely be keeping track of Kusumoto's work in future.
The artist's bio from the Morikami:
"Mariko Kusumoto is a mixed media artist known for creating elaborate collages of miniature interactive worlds in metal boxes with unique metalsmithing techniques. Her work is imbued with her memories in Japan and of growing up in a 400-year old Japanese temple, where her father was a Buddhist priest. Ms. Kusumoto is skilled in a variety of art media. She studied oil painting and printmaking at Musashino Art College, Tokyo, and in 1995, received an MFA in printmaking at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Her works have been exhibited in numerous museums and galleries. She has been featured in over 15 publications and conducted workshops and lectures at various venues."