Other Names: 小谷明子
"At various stages in my career, I have been deeply fascinated by forms of Guatemalan, Mbuti and Japanese art. In my latest works, all of these disparate influences converge and together with my own synthesis, result in a new form.
"My early tenure of study under a Mayan Indian weaver in Guatemala made me aware of the integration of the woven fabric into the culture of the family. Later, the study of Mbuti scratching on beaten bark fibers made me aware of the use of abstraction of natural forms taken from their environment. All of this study seems to be in contrast to my cultural background in Buddhism, but I find that they all can meet in the realm of the imagination. All seem to be vital elements in the highest forms of the imaginative world.
"At the present time, I find that drawing, the most elemental of the visual arts, stitching, the most elemental of the embroidery arts, and plain weave, the most elemental of the weaving arts, all have found their way into my present work.
"My current work has evolved to a larger scale and has developed another dimension by means of working on translucent fabric, both casa sheer and silk organza. The stitching retains the linear qualities of drawing, but the layers create a depth and a reverberation as the image recedes in space."
-Akiko Kotani, Artist Statement