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The Artist as Intermediary

Asami Asama, who works with embroidery techniques, describes herself as a “vessel.” According to Asami Asama, it is important for her to stay true to her inspirations in creating her works. She describes herself as having a shamanistic style, which is why her works maintain their purity. Asami Asama’s work focuses on embroidery, was this something you learned from the beginning? -No, I started out by drawing pictures by myself. I used to work as an illustrator, but I wanted to create works with my own original expression, which is why I shifted to art work instead of working for clients. I switched to embroidery when my child got sick. During that time, I hadn’t made anything even though I wanted to. However, it was hard to find time and space to draw. I decided that embroidery was the only way I could balance my life as an artist with my personal life. Honkadori Bacchus, 33×33cm So, embroidery was an artistic expression that you could easily incorporate into your daily life. Are you self-taught in embroidery? -Yes, I am self-taught, so I can’t teach others even if they ask me to give workshops. I have my own rules and methods, but nothing is set in stone. The way I make my work is something I’ve encountered in my own life, so it may be different from someone who is learning embroidery properly. Besides, I value expression, so I don’t want to be a craft or handcrafter. As long as the work is “using the technique of embroidery,” the perspective of an artist is essential. What do you think about that? -My work is more of an inspiration. It may sound strange to call it shamanic, but it’s more like an idea that “comes down” to me. Motifs come into my head, and then I have to figure out how to make them come out in my work. That is my creative style. Enlightenment, 33×33cm In other words, I feel like the artist stands between the inspiration and the work. That’s just my case, but that’s why the state of mind is so important. I think that the artist’s mental state and other invisible things are connected to the work. Therefore, when I am in an unstable state, I try not to make any work because I feel that it will be reflected in my work. I often do a “purification ritual” in the morning, and I think it’s important to get pure inspiration and how pure the work will be. I used to have a complex about people saying that I looked more like a shaman than an artist, but now I don’t care about that, and I can make much better work than I could when I was thinking in my head, and I even feel a kind of identity. The flow of my work is “thinking” -> “sketching” -> “embroidering on canvas”. I always get new inspirations and ideas in the middle of the night or at dawn, and I sketch them right away so I don’t forget them. Honkadori Giuliano, 33×33cm Last but not least, is there anything you would like to change in “The”? -No, not really, because I have a prototype for my work, and it’s a matter of how I can catch it and transfer it to my work. That said, I always take care of my mind and body. I don’t think I can make good work if I’m not in good shape physically or mentally. It’s very important to be a good “vessel”.

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