Collection 1

Nous-sewing and living

2016.5.21(Sat.) - 2016.9.25(Sun.)



2016.5.21(Sat.) - 2016.9.25(Sun.)
10:00 - 18:00 (until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays)


Galleries / 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Mondays (Open on July 18, August 15, September 19), and July 19, September 20


Adult: ¥360 (¥280)
University: ¥280 (¥220)
Elem/ JH/ HS: Free
65 and over: ¥280
*( ) indicate group rates (20 or more).

For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa
Phone: +81-76-220-2800
Facsimile: +81-76-220-2802

“Nous” is French for “we.” It can mean “we women” or “we men.” When it comes to artistic creation and giving a form to one’s ideas, there are no distinctions between women and men. “Handicrafts,” nevertheless, was long primarily viewed as a women’s creative field, and many women in the past, when seeking creative expression in daily life, spontaneously took in hand not the paintbrush but the more familiar needle and thread.
Sewing is an activity filled with quiet thoughts and feelings. This is true whether one sews for one’s family in bliss or solitude, or joyfully for oneself. Then, the clothing born from that time has a power to communicate the personality of the wearer. Works created as an extension of everyday life often express fleeting, complex feelings hard to define. In our encounters with them, “we” viewers may find ourselves experiencing emotions we have been little conscious of before. This exhibition of works by five artists in our collection and four guest artists—nine women artists in all—will look at handcrafted work in connection with art and ponder the issue of gender.

Related Projects

Monden Emiko’s Embroidery Diary

As a related project sited in the Art Library, Monden Emiko will update an embroidery diary (nearly) every day during the exhibition. With her newly born daughter, Monden will stroll around 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and gradually build up her diary.

Born in Aichi in 1979. Lives and works in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.
In 2005, Monden graduated in sculpture from the Kanazawa College of Art graduate program. She currently creates mobiles and embroidery diaries using collage. Based on her desire to create art as a natural part of everyday life, like sleeping and eating, she has since around 2010 been developing her own childhood diary into an artwork.

Artists Profile

  • midnight (detail) 2016
    © OKI Junko
    photo: OKI Junko

    OKI Junko

    Born in 1963 in Urawa, Saitama. Lives and works in Kamakura, Kanagawa.
    In 2002, Oki began embroidering fabric handed down to her by her mother, using a style all her own. She has since held exhibitions in Japan and abroad. Oki hand-stitches without using a sketch, deliberately employing fine sewing machine thread. Her dense stitches, which seemingly yearn to totally express her inner world, possess an overwhelming power that transcends the concept of embroidery. In 2014, Oki published a collection of her own photographs, PUNK (Bungei Shunju), and her unique creative vision captured broad interest.

  • A Fable Told by the Wind 2015
    © KONOIKE Tomoko
    photo: MIYAJIMA Kei

    KONOIKE Tomoko

    Born in 1960 in Akita, Akita. Lives and works in Tokyo.
    After graduating in Nihonga in 1985 from Tokyo University of the Arts, Konoike initially designed toys. In 1998, she began expressing contemporary myths in large-scale installations using varying media. The 2011 Great East Japan earthquake awoke in her a deep concern about human beings’ relationship with nature, and leaving off her previous work, she embarked on collaborations with researchers in such fields as anthropology/zoology, fairy tales, archeology, and cultural anthropology. For her 2015 “Primordial Violence” exhibition, she displayed works using such materials as animal hides and glue. Seeing art as closed in a world of human speculation and phenomena, Konoike has sought a change of consciousness by going back to the origins of art to re-inquire into what it means for human beings to create things.

  • Women at Work – Under Construction 1999
    © Maja BAJEVIĆ
    photographs:“Under Construction,”
    SCCA, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
    (Curator Dunja Blazevic), 1999.
    Photo: Havis Menija, Dejam Vekic

    Maja BAJEVIĆ

    Born in Sarajevo, former Yugoslavia (now Bosnia-Herzegovina) in 1967. Lives and works in Paris,France and Berlin, Germany.
    Upon receiving an award from the Bosnia-Herzegovina ULUBiH art association in 1991, Maja Bajević studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where she remained, due to the Bosnian War, until 1997. She then returned and spent several years in her home country, although she now works mostly out of Paris and Berlin.Bajević’s works, which center on performance and video, blend together in a complex way the environment around her and her own experiences as well as strongly reflecting history and social conditions.In particular she gives expression in a diverse and multilayered manner to various social problems in contemporary society by focusing on and incorporating into her works issues surrounding migrants,the role of women in society, and people and things on the fringes of society.

  • The Ring of the Bolster 2002-2004
    © Annette MESSAGER
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    Annette MESSAGER

    Born in Berck-sur-Mer, France in 1943. Lives and works in Malakoff.
    Influenced by her father, an amateur artist, Annette Messager was attracted to Art Brut and votive offerings in churches. She also reevaluated and incorporated into her artworks handicrafts and other art forms that were regarded as marginal at the time. Using stuffed specimens and photographs, she boldly expresses the two-sidedness of phenomena such as life and death, and humor and cruelty, as well as deviations from the boundaries that separate them. As well, she uses familiar materials to create situations that can be interpreted in a variety of ways depending on one’s personal values in a style that arouses emotions that lie dormant within us.

  • Utsushimi (Life) -To have a place where I can be 2016
    ©YAMAMOTO Masami

    YAMAMOTO Masami

    Born in 1983 in Osaka prefecture. Lives and works in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.
    Raised in Kobe from the age of five, Yamamoto in 2007 graduated in ceramics from the Department of Craft, Faculty of Art, Kanazawa College of Art. Obtaining a scholarship, she entered the ceramics course at L'Ecole de La Cambre and received her master’s degree. On returning to Japan, Yamamoto belonged to Kanazawa Utatsuyama Kogei Studio, and today continues working in Kanazawa. Seeing ceramics as “a medium of memory,” she creates works in the image of clothing and other motifs that display signs of the wearer’s existence. By sculpting clay by hand and investing time in her labor, she converts memory to physical form.

  • Untitled 2005
    © MURAYAMA Ruriko
    photo: SAIKI Taku

    MURAYAMA Ruriko

    Born in Akita, Japan in 1968. Lives and works there.
    In the early 1990s, Murayama Ruriko relocated from Akita to Tokyo, where she studied batik on her own while working in stage design. From the late ’90s,Murayama began showing works created by cutting silk cloth dyed with chemical dyes into small pieces and painstakingly sewing them together. From the early 2000s, she embarked on the production of her “Collective Charms” series of objects covered lavishly with beads, pearls, artificial flowers, lace, and other materials obtained at handicraft shops. Her “Collective Charms” series works have gradually multiplied and mutated into bustiers, dresses, armshaped works and other variations closely fitting the form of the body.

  • Combat Drag 2008
    ©Jemima WYMAN
    courtesy: Milani Gallery

    Jemima WYMAN

    Born in Sydney, Australia in 1977. Live and works in Brisbane, Australia and Los Angeles, USA.
    After graduating in visual arts from the Queensland University of Technology in 1997, Wyman obtained an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2007. She creates videos, paintings, and photo collages that highlight the role of clothing in exposing or hiding the inner life of human beings. Combining reality and fiction, she examines the meaning of adaptation to the conventions and customs of society and relationships between individuals and groups.In 2005, she and Anna MEYER formed a performance duo called CamLab. All of her work turns a critical gaze on society with an expressive approach that utilizes humor.

  • Camaleoas 2002
    ©Janaina TSCHÄPE
    courtesy: Janaina TSCHÄPE

    Janaina TSCHÄPE

    Born in Munich, Germany in 1973. Lives and works in New York, USA.
    Janaina’s German father and Brazilian mother named her Janaina after a Brazilian water goddess. Appropriately, she makes myth-like, allegorical works on the themes of water and the ocean.Using diverse media, including photography, video and drawing, employs sculptural costumes to transform the female body, and, by making it blend into the natural landscape, she creates mysterious spectacles that seem halfway between dream and reality.


Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

Supported by:
Sogo & Seibu Co., Ltd.