in Tokyo / Japan
26.04.2024 - 25.05.2024 00:00
Junko Oki - Promise

Kosaku Kanechika is pleased to present “Promise,” a solo exhibition by Junko Oki. Through unique embroidery and careful attention, Junko Oki inserts new life into aged textiles and instruments. These objects, with years-worth of stories already engraved into them, are revived by Oki’s hand through a series of attentive stitches. In the artist’s solo exhibition “anthology” in the tearoom space of the Hagi Uragami Museum up to spring 2021, Oki presented an installation work including seven-thousand spools of thread gathered from throughout Japan. For her subsequent solo exhibition “Yobitsugi” at Kosaku Kanechika, she reworked and revitalized the works exhibited from “anthology.”

Oki talks of the intertwining of new and old times in her work. They include everything that came into being, and histories that once existed but are now gone. The core of her creative process involves discovering new horizons through layered impressions of time. Oki considers the resulting landscape to be born not from the intention of the artist but rather developing organically from the work itself. This is also apparent in the title of her solo exhibition that took place in 2022 at the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama, “OKI Junko: The Exposed.”

The artist has provided the following statement for this show.

The African sun has the power to promise tomorrow.
Toyoko Yamasaki wrote this in her novel “Shizumanu Taiyō,”
which I once pored over with great enthusiasm.
I came across these words during a hectic and difficult time that began last fall.
I pondered about this sight I had yet to see, the sun setting on the African horizon.
An abundance of sincerity that assures this “promise.”
Promises are to be made to oneself,
not to others, nor are they something to be discouraged by when reneged on.
I make a promise to my future self.
Joy and sorrow are bound up with one another.
The works on view take the shape of a promise
I made to myself, and fulfilled, during these turbulent times.

Oki’s work progresses stitch by stitch, meticulously threading her needle through her fabric. The thread becomes tangled or knotted in the process, and she incorporates these into her embroidery without undoing the accidents. Oki’s work is full of tension and dynamism, and cannot be fully defined as mere “embroidery,” which holds connotations of being dense and static. The threads and cloth sewn into her works almost seem to have developed their own will and contend with the artist herself. This is a reflection of the artist’s own perspective that her work “emerges not as a result of studies, but from within the accumulation of life experiences,” bringing together the truth of the material, the truth of the artist, and the passage of time. Perhaps this is what Oki means by the word “promise.”

We invite you to attend Junko Oki’s solo exhibition “Promise,” which features eight new works.

Junko Oki was born in Urawa, Japan in 1963, and is currently based in Kamakura.

Gallery hours Tue-Sat 11 am – 6 pm
Closed on Sun, Mon and National Holidays

Exhibition Duration 26.04. – 25.05.2024


Kosaku Kanechika
TERRADA Art Complex 5F, 1-33-10 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku
140-0002 Tokyo


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