A supplement at once inevitable and delightful
ink on paper
A supplement at once inevitable and delightful weaves together texts and images to explore the relationship between appropriation and Japanese femininity. By slicing found materials into thin strips and weaving them into one another, Cleave disrupts both the legibility of the textual sources and the visibility of the women who appear in the found images. The materials become obscured within the textile and help to maintain an even tension that keeps the piece intact. There is a mutual relationship between image and text, as each supports and conceals the other. The process of weaving flattens both materials, so things that once registered as background details may become reframed or brought forward.
This series of weavings points to some ways that contemporary Japanese Canadian experiences are influenced by late 19th and early 20th-century popular culture in Japan. This was when many levels of Japanese culture were altering themselves to match European norms, often being criticized as partial or failed imitations. Among these changes, the “modern girl” arose as a mostly imagined figure who was criticized for her ability to slip between Japanese and European social mores. The weavings incorporate images of the modern girl taken from vintage magazines as well as photographs of the artist’s face and excerpts from texts that reference ideas of femininity and photographic representation.