⟨ Craft ⟩

Interwoven with time

Wonder Full Life

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung

「在倘大的宇宙裡,世上每一樣東西都以不著痕跡的方式緊密地連結著彼此。」看著大脇千加子製作的織物,總會有這個想法。不管是棉繩與棉繩之間的糾纏,還是游走在歷史與民族文化裡,都是或鬆或緊地緊扣著彼此。大脇千加子是Wonder Full Life的創辦人,2005年推出了個人品牌Kitica,隨著小孩誕生,展開了童裝品牌Cokitica,並於2016年成立Wonder Full Life,以「世界上充滿了讓人驚奇的事物」的理念來分享她的世界觀。除了自己的創作,還會邀請不同領域的日本藝術家和職人合作,並定期策劃展覽,內容由時裝、攝影、音樂、生活用品至藝術品,展示完整的美學觀。

千加子在編織時,很自然地想到在為某人作祈禱,她的作品是傾注了祝福的禮物。她的作品有時候是一大張的掛墊,有時候如掛在床頭的捕夢網般的掛飾。這些掛飾加入金屬、貝殻等拼湊而成,風格猶如非洲、中東或是北歐小島等土著民族製作出來的織物,是神聖又帶點神秘魅力的織物。把它們掛在室内或是戴在身上,讓人有種護身符的感覺,也如遊牧民族般自由又隨心,是帶給人能量的藝術品。

大脇千加子受訪時曾說過,她在旅行的時候有收集各式各樣的創作餘料的習慣。在創作的同時,少不免會製造出餘料,造雕塑時留下的陶泥、切割金屬時留下的邊緣金屬塊和裁剪衣服後不要的碎料等等。她相信漂亮的東西留下來的餘料,例如餘料的曲線同時連結著作品本身的線條,故此它們都擁有著一份美麗。千加子以這種方式作為連接著創作者之間的橋樑,連接著他們的靈感和故事。她早前更找來古代天然染色工房金井工藝為繩子染色,位於奄美大島的金井工藝使用傳統的泥染方式製作,帶點深淺不一的顏色讓人感受到原始色彩的魅力。千加子把織了一半的作品以古老的方式染色,然後再完成作品,讓作品加添了一份不確定性,自然又美麗的天然染色讓成品充滿了大自然的質感。

Wonder Full Life的作品包含著工匠和材料的故事,在編織的同時,穿越了時空的限制,讓人感受到古老和現代工藝結合的美好。

“Everything in the world is tied to everything else in the universe in some small way.” This is how the brand Wonder Full Life introduces themselves, and what I feel whenever I lay eyes on the woven accessories made by Chikako Owaki. Not only are the threads woven together, but her accessories also remind me of how history and culture are interwoven. Be it tight or loose, there is always some sort of connections in between. Before founding Wonder Full Life in 2016, Owaki already launched her first brand, Kitica, in 2005, and her children’s clothing brand Cokitica after the birth of her child. Through her design, she is trying to share with the world the curiosity she has for everything in the world. Apart from designing her own work, Owaki also invites Japanese artists and artisans from different areas for collaborative work. She also curates exhibitions that showcase fashion, photography, music, daily necessities, and artwork. The exhibitions are the platform where she can demonstrate her sense of aesthetics wholly. 

Owaki sees the weaving process a praying ritual through which she can attach her heartfelt blessing to the woven accessories. The woven products she makes come with a good variety, including hanging rugs and decorations that look like dream catchers. By skillfully utilizing various materials like metal and shells, she creates a style that reminds you of tribal art that one may have seen in Africa, the Middle East or even some small Scandinavian islands. Her woven products possess a sacred yet mysterious vibe, resembling talisman-like items that exude positive energy. They appear as artworks that remind you of the liberated mindset of the nomads.

In one interview, Owaki talked about her habit of collecting leftover materials when traveling. Imagine the excessive clay when making a sculpture, the rim of metalwork, or the redundant fabrics when making clothes… these are the leftover materials are almost unavoidable in the production process of any artwork. She found extraordinary beauty in these materials, for how they are the traces of the aesthetics of the beautiful products that the artists made. This is how Owaki connects herself to the artists, their inspirations and their stories. Owaki has recently worked with a dyeing workshop in Amami Ōshima called Kanaikougei, which is still using the traditional mud dye technique. This technique creates uneven shades of color that appear so primitively charming. She sent her half-finished work to the workshop for dyeing before finishing the work. The end product has a natural sense of beauty that can only be achieved by the unpredictability of the natural dye technique.

The products of Wonder Full Life are so full of stories of the artisans and materials. With her hands, Owaki weaves ancient crafts into modern techniques, so her art can transcend the limitations of time and space.