Oil & gilding on byõbu, 18” x 144”. Bernice Steinbaum collection.
My friend Marty Amt rescued these wooden cores for this byobu from the dumpster behind the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery. The were sugi (Japanese cedar) at least 200 years old and they sat inside a beautiful black lacquer box. The cores are the skeleton of a byobu and they provide the structure on which one lays the papers. They were the cores which once held a beautiful 12 panel screen titled “Twelve Months of Children at Play”. At the time I had discovered a remedy for my painters block. It was Simply to use a diptych or triptych to combine past images to create a work that would prompt the viewer to treat the multiple images as a puzzle. So the viewer (myself included) would view the images in a linguistic fashion whereby as 2nd readers they treat the multiple images as code and proceed to decipher it I referred to these screens as medleys. This screen was done at about the same time as my “Memories of Childhood” series so you may recognize one of images. (See my post on this blog titled SERIES: “Memories of Childhood” 1994. It was exhibited on a long 13’ table created by my cousin Mira Nakashima.