Keiko Mukaide was born in Tokyo, Japan and is an internationally renowned artist with the unique practice of creating both small-scale glass sculptures, from bowls to jewellery, and creating large-scale site specific installations, which respond to the physical and spiritual environment.
For Largo Arts Week 2023 Keiko will taking a personal journey revisiting past experiences.
Where did it all start?
Two decades ago, we moved into our cottage in Lundin Links, realizing the energy of the garden and house gave me inspiration for my installation exhibitions at the Talbot Rice gallery in Edinburgh. The magnificence of the landscape and expansive sky scenery that we never tire of seeing every day.
What is your inspiration?
My theme for Largo Arts Week 23 is ’Following in my mother's footsteps in the summerhouse’.
During the Covid lockdown, my husband (ceramics artist Simon Ward, Studio 4 ) spent some time building a summerhouse, with scrap wood, furniture, and building materials that he had collected over the years. Once it was completed, we sat down inside, it felt indescribably nostalgic. The unexpected interior (if you could call it that) is all parts of something, used items, once cherished by someone. This year, I am planning a new exhibit from the summerhouse.
My mother in Japan enjoyed ink drawing as her hobby, and after her death, there were many good quality Japanese washi papers and used brushes left at my parents' house. I packed them up in my luggage and brought them back home. As I do not usually paint I have been searching for ways to use them, even though they feel too precious to touch.
A friend from Kashmir once told me that he had tried to paint with the juice of a rare tropical fruit, the Tree Tomato (tamarillo). This inspired me to try to paint plants like my mother did, using the materials she had left me. It is a concept that has emerged repeatedly in my exhibitions, in my own way of expressing and visualizing the invisible.
By the way, there are new lives in the summer house, tomatoes, cucumbers as well as a real Tree Tomato all growing in this year.
What makes Largo Arts Weeks so special?
Exhibiting in our garden makes me feel like I’m back in the same place again. The truth is that my life is maturing so I will be able to see more deeply than before. Lockdown taught me the importance of everyday life.