Square Jewels A jewel’s brilliance can attract people’s souls and change the minds of the people who wear them. I believe diamonds and sapphires captivate people with their brilliance. Just like a diamond cut, I overlay the pieces of layered washi onto a screen to create an architectural and mineral-like texture. Although it is made of paper, it gives an impression of scattered jewels. I express the different color tones with delicate and subtle brightness, as well as light and shade. The pieces of washi are overlapped to create undulations and a dynamic composition. It is not a concrete object that I am illustrating. I am creating something from another nature, or another world. The color that is represented is light: the color is light itself. The light of the color is like a shining soul: the precious soul that lives in this world. The light represents the limit of life, and shines from within the soul.
Light represents joy and beauty. If there are people who have forgotten the light of their existence from being busy with their daily lives, or are struggling with pain in the darkness, I hope my square jewels will remind them of their beautiful inner light. I wish to continue creating artwork that can contribute to society in such a way.
I produce collage artwork using washi - a traditional Japanese handmade paper. Washi has recently been recognized as a World Heritage artform by UNESCO, and has been at the center of Japanese cultural life for centuries. Washi has an interesting feature that resembles gauze-like fibers that allows the paint to spread. In Nihonga, a traditional Japanese painting technique, the sizing technique called Dosa is used to apply coating to the surface to keep the paint from becoming fully absorbed into the washi. However, in my case, I paint multiple layers, thus, it allows me to make a washi texture with depth and transparency. With these pieces of washi, I create my collage artwork by placing them together like puzzle pieces.
Sumiko Hamada was born in Yokohama, Japan, in 1957. She graduated from Sokei Academy of Fine Art & Design in 1981, winning the Graduate School of Fine Art Personal Exhibition Award. She has received several awards, such as the Gold Prize in the 24th National Japanese Paper Exhibition in 2011. (Minoh City, Gifu, Japan) She has had numerous solo exhibitions in Japan, and over 50 group exhibitions including the “MOVE Exhibition”, in Shanghai, China’s Shanghai Fugetsusha Art Gallery in January 2015. Website: www.hamadasumiko.justhpbs.jp/