Mariko Kusumoto
Kodomobeya (Daughter’s Room) (detail), 2001
Nickel silver, copper, bronze, photographs, brass, wood, and light bulb
10 1/2 x 7 x 5 inches
Private Collection
Photography: Hap Sakwa

Mariko Kusumoto: Unfolding Stories

October 24, 2010 – January 23, 2011

Mariko Kusumoto is an enchantress. More specifically, she creates magical worlds that both delight and mystify. Using a variety of metalsmithing techniques, Kusumoto crafts elaborate miniature stage sets, with multiple doors, moving parts, compartments and drawers, as well as the characters and props to inhabit them. For instance, Byobu, 2004–2006, is a compartmentalized interactive theatre made of magnetic components in hundreds of different shapes, which include characters with changeable costumes, flora, fauna, toys, and iconic Japanese images.

Each object can be presented as closed boxes and containers or opened and manipulated so that their stories “unfold.” The narrative potential is even more complex as many elements are created in the form of brooches, necklaces and bracelets that can be worn, and thus seen in a wholly different light.

These metal sculptural boxes reflect Kusumoto’s Japanese identity and influences from her childhood. As the artist suggests, “Growing up in a 400-year old Buddhist temple, I was always surrounded by the beauty of nature and ancient things…I was also fascinated by the elaborate metal and wood ornaments…throughout the temple.”

The visual sensations she experienced in this sacred space manifest in her treatment of light. Kusumoto’s application of finishes, use of color, and blend of textures produce a surface that emits a glow reminiscent of her childhood surroundings. Says Kusumoto, “Metal has been a familiar material to me since I was a child; polishing the elaborate metal ornaments in the altars in my temple was one of my chores.”

Mariko Kusumoto: Unfolding Stories is organized by Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Notes (PDF)

Mariko Kusumoto: Unfolding Stories

October 24, 2010 – January 23, 2011
Mariko Kusumoto
Kodomobeya (Daughter’s Room) (detail), 2001
Nickel silver, copper, bronze, photographs, brass, wood, and light bulb
10 1/2 x 7 x 5 inches
Private Collection
Photography: Hap Sakwa

Mariko Kusumoto is an enchantress. More specifically, she creates magical worlds that both delight and mystify. Using a variety of metalsmithing techniques, Kusumoto crafts elaborate miniature stage sets, with multiple doors, moving parts, compartments and drawers, as well as the characters and props to inhabit them. For instance, Byobu, 2004–2006, is a compartmentalized interactive theatre made of magnetic components in hundreds of different shapes, which include characters with changeable costumes, flora, fauna, toys, and iconic Japanese images.

Each object can be presented as closed boxes and containers or opened and manipulated so that their stories “unfold.” The narrative potential is even more complex as many elements are created in the form of brooches, necklaces and bracelets that can be worn, and thus seen in a wholly different light.

These metal sculptural boxes reflect Kusumoto’s Japanese identity and influences from her childhood. As the artist suggests, “Growing up in a 400-year old Buddhist temple, I was always surrounded by the beauty of nature and ancient things…I was also fascinated by the elaborate metal and wood ornaments…throughout the temple.”

The visual sensations she experienced in this sacred space manifest in her treatment of light. Kusumoto’s application of finishes, use of color, and blend of textures produce a surface that emits a glow reminiscent of her childhood surroundings. Says Kusumoto, “Metal has been a familiar material to me since I was a child; polishing the elaborate metal ornaments in the altars in my temple was one of my chores.”

Mariko Kusumoto: Unfolding Stories is organized by Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA.

More About the Exhibition

Exhibition Notes (PDF)

Gallery of Work

Exhibitions at RAM are made possible by:

Platinum Sponsors

Judith and David Flegel Fund
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Ron and Judith Isaacs
Nicholas and Nancy Kurten
Windgate Foundation

Diamond Sponsors

Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation
Ruffo Family Foundation

Gold Sponsors
Anonymous
David Charak
Silver Sponsors
Art Bridges
A.C. Buhler Family
Andis Foundation
Baird
Lucy G. Feller
Ben and Dawn Flegel
Annette Hirsch Family
J. Jeffers & Co.
Dorothy MacVicar
RDK Foundation

Jan Serr and John Shannon
Bronze Sponsors

Anonymous
Susan Boland
Virginia Buhler
Butcher & Barrel/Amos Los Tacos
Educators Credit Union
Express Employment Professionals
Get Behind the Arts Studio Tour
William A. Guenther
Tom and Sharon Harty
Tony and Andrea Hauser
David and Judy Hecker
Bradley Lynch
Carlotta Miller
Larry and Barbara Newman
The Norbell Foundation
The Prairie School
Georgiana Treivush
Twin Disc, Inc.
Deb and Will Walker

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