At first glance, Mariko Kusumoto‘s fiber work gives you the distinct impression that the colorful and mysterious world of our deepest oceans have come for a party. Though the Japanese artist is also known for her resin and metal work, from jewelry to abstract sculptures, it’s her installations of translucent fabric orbs that stir up a strange sense of underwater wonder.
Lazily abound like leftover birthday bash balloons, Kusumoto’s orbs, along with her well-defined and just-as-rapturous polyester pieces of coral, reflects “observable phenomena” that stimulates the mind and senses. Ultimately, it’s a delivery of thought and emotion stemming from her own in the creation process. She likes the softness, gentle texture, and atmospheric quality of the selected fabrics, which are then transformed.
“I ‘reorganize’ them into a new presentation that can be described as surreal, amusing, graceful, or unexpected. A playful, happy atmosphere pervades my work. I always like to leave some space for the viewer’s imagination; I hope the viewer experiences discovery, surprise, and wonder through my work.”
Kusumoto plays with intent, ensuring the shapes she wants in the end by heating them to the right temperature for the material , as even the most fun and bouncy outcomes of art take precision. Based in Massachusetts these days, Kusumoto has an indefinite presence at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, The Kock Collection at the Swiss National Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.
See her stunning work below (and more on her Facebook).