MT FACTORY TOUR / 1,000 tape sakura
Japan, 2020

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MT is the original brand of washi paper masking tape, created by the 100 year old company Kamoi Kakoshi and produced in Japan.  Every year as part of their factory tour they invite an artist to create an installation using MT brand tape.  I was delighted to be selected as the artist for 2020’s tour.

 

Titled 1,000 Tape Sakura, this installation was created in my studio in Sacramento, CA over the course of two months and transported to Japan in checked bags.  It was designed to be a contemporary Tape Koi Pond.  

Originally planned for March of 2020, this installation was designed to be a celebration and union of Tapigami, MT Tape, and Japanese/Californian culture.  

I was inspired by an elementary school classroom project where we created 1,000 origami cranes to be sent to the local children's hospital.

While thinking about how to create a relevant and contemporary art installation my first idea was to create a 1,000 origami cranes with a twist.  Since the show was scheduled to happen at the beginning of Sakura, I decided to create 1,000 tape Sakura.  

 

While teaching myself to create the Sakura flower, I realized I needed to create a frame work to display the Sakura.  I have always loved the story of the koi fish turning into a dragon, so I decided to make a koi pond.  The flowers act as focal points and as ripples on the wall for the fish to swim through.

 

I wanted to include some original Tapigami ideas and shapes into the installation.  I created 22 creatures and placed them throughout the sculpture.   In the USA the creatures are called Gamis, they are the spirits of the tape.  However after spending a few weeks in Japan, I realized their Japanese name must be Kamis.  They are designed to make you feel joy and wonder.

 

The last part of the installation is a city made out of tape.  These city shapes are the original incarnation of Tapigami.  The entire installation invites you to see the possibilities of human potential and to expand the meaning and connections in the world.