Aiko Tezuka at Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin

Aiko Tezuka’s Installation ‘Ghost I met’ dominates the entrance and invites you into the generous gallery space at Künstlerhaus Bethanien her first solo show in Berlin.  
‘Ghost I met’ is enormous and what at first glance looks like  a painting is a weaving mounted on a frame.  After talking to Aiko, I began to realise the enormous amount of work and thought that has gone into this newly woven and mounted piece.
Extracts from ancient japanese brocades, embroideries on silk and costumes. English gobelin and italian and indian silk embroideries are all digitally assembled to create a new impressive contemporary woven work. It reflects back on the work of early textile artists who worked without electricity, and created exquisite works dating from the 8th century Japan that are now impossible to reproduce, because the techniques have been lost.

The intercultural exchange of motifs means that there are no design patterns or fabric made now, that are original in terms of country.

In Aiko’s own words: “ I m interested in loosening up these invisible narratives to unravel forgotten histories or discover new plotlines.”

This unraveling and occupation with fabrics has over many years become the signature in Aiko’s work. Inspirations for her new work at Kunsthaus Bethanien are complex and range from diagrams of organs, in particular the female womb and diagrams of nuclear plants, that, so she tells me, are really quite similar in look and here in her new work are a reference to the recent power plant disaster in Japan, and what it means to be living with the fall out.  Threads that she carefully unravels from her chosen fabrics are part deconstruction of the constituent parts that make up a traditional design , but also a making visible of what is hidden in the fabric, and in this new fabulous piece she decided to reconstruct the threads into knotted pieces resembling organs.

One of my favorite, is  that is the white and aged 1920’tees table runner that Aiko found at the ‘Flohmarkt’ in Berlin. After much time spent unraveling it it’s threads are gathered into an embroidery of the heart, and framed by a copper plate.
Such poetic work and warming  gesture in a Berlin that in January is engulfed by the winds from deepest eastern Siberia, and had me frozen but very cheerful amongst the good art and welcoming crowds of art professionals and art lovers. The exhibition is on until the 10th of February 2012 and is accompanied by a the catalogue ‘Rewoven – Overflow’  Aiko Tezuka. It is available for 10Eu. If you would like a catalogue drop us a line and we’ll make sure it is sent to you!

More images of the show here

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