Yuken Teruya "You-I, You-I "
Yuken Teruya is an artist based in New York.
He works with various materials such as toilet paper rolls, paper shopping bags and butterfly chrysalises. His ideas often reflect life and history of Okinawa, his homeland.
Yuken Teruya approaches each of his projects with a keen sense of the environments in which he lives. His work often traces the link from nature to consumerism, as well as actively borrowing from both traditional and contemporary sources in his works.
“You-I, You-I” (Tying Together) 2002 . In this work, Teruya used the traditional Japanese craft of bingata, the Okinawan technique of stenciling on cloth, to create a kimono. Upon closer inspection the images are revealed to be those of parachutes and US fighter planes juxtaposed with chrysanthemums, dugongs and flowing water. Tradition is fused with contemporary political tensions in Okinawa. In Okinawa, seeing and hearing US Air Force planes is an ordinary thing in everyday life. Around the dugongs are helicopters, which suggest that the new heliport of the US Air Force threatens the habitat of the dugong in Okinawa.
The artist came to realize how the traditional culture of Okinawa, his homeland, has been isolated from its origins by the political pressures exerted by the Japanese and American Military. He projected the issue onto the pattern of Okinawan traditional Bingata Kimono.
Yuken redesigned the patterns, which still follow traditional structures. You see the U.S. jet fighter and V-22 Osprey flying through the colorful clouds, and paratroopers float among the domestic Okinawan butterflies.
There are representations of different seasons on the same plate on a Bingata kimono. This multi-dimensional expression makes it possible for several layers of stories to exist together. Since Okinawa has a long history of occupation, its culture is a mix of its traditional culture and two foreign (Japan & USA) cultures. Yuken believes that the aesthetics of Bingata is a mirror of Okinawan history itself.
YEAR: 2002 ~ 2005 MATERIAL: Linen, Color pigment