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August 2018

“Gathering Kokoro” Orihon Book: Tony DeVarco, Mayako Nakamura, Bonnie DeVarco & Judith Serling Sturm

August 17, 2018October 27, 2018

Archives contain precious artifacts of the past, but even in the contemporary digital age we are fascinated with the nature of the physical object. We find pleasure in the tactile and enduring feel of the artifacts—photographs, prints, and books created by those before us. “Gathering Kokoro” Orihon Book explores the cross currents of cultural sensibilities from the Japanese homeland of artist Mayako Nakamura and that of Tony DeVarco from the United States.

Recasting digital photos, photomontages, and sketches into a delicate artifact, the collaborative artwork is created in the ancient style of an ‘Orihon’ book (‘ori’ means fold, ‘hon’ book). Paying homage to the ancient Asian tradition of bookmaking as a “folding scroll,” “Gathering Kokoro” is printed in Japanese on one side and English on the other—its pages open up concertina style, featuring a series of DeVarco’s photographs and Nakamura’s sketches printed on delicate mulberry paper.

Archivist and curator Bonnie DeVarco designed the interior of the book to present an unfolding story in the Japanese style of Orihon with folds sewn using the “stabbed” binding technique. As an artwork at once vintage and familiar, the book cover and case of “Gathering Kokoro” are designed and bound by master bookmaker and artist Judith Serling-Sturm and include obi cloth painted by Nakamura. This large-scale artwork, nearly ten feet long, is printed as one long scroll that captures the careful stages of Mayako donning her kimono and the travels of the two artists in June of 2017.

  • Tony DeVarco & Mayako Nakamura, Gathering Kokoro, 2017. Digital Photomontage, variable dimensions. Courtesy of the artists and Marta Hewett Gallery

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