September 8 – October 9, 2016
Artist’s Reception: Friday, September 9, 6-8pm
San Francisco’s Velvet da Vinci is proud to present Junko Iijima: Migration, a special installation by the Portland based artist. The show will run from September 8 through October 9, 2016. An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, September 9 from 6-8pm.
Iijima’s “Migration” installation represents an exploration of the melding and divergence of cultural signifiers from Japan with global popular culture. Created during her second Arts/Industry iron-casting residency at the Kohler Company in Wisconsin, this series of small iron and brass sculptures draws formal inspiration from the traditional Japanese Nanbu tea kettle, as well as American pop aesthetics. On her most recent body of work, the artist states:
“I am attracted to objects that retain their cultural identities, obvious stereotypes. I observe and investigate the mixing of cultures through their commodities; how objects from different cultures influence and impact one another, in particular, the intertwining of the contemporary culture of Japan, where I’m from, and America, where I live.
Through my work, I explore the cultural and social underpinnings of both decorative and functional objects. Recently I have been exploring traditional cast-iron patterning from Japanese Nanbu Ironware (best known as black iron tea kettle) while considering pop culture forms. Small bronze sculptures and the drawings demonstrate the melding of cultural signifiers through commodities, and are part of an on-going study and examination of visual languages; creating hybrids of the past and present, from the East and the West.”
Iijima came to the United States as a high school exchange student from Tokyo, Japan. Fascinated by the diversity of American culture and the US educational system, Iijima remained in the states and received her Masters in Metalsmithing from the University of Oregon. She currently teaches Metalsmithing and 3D Foundation courses at several colleges in the Portland, Oregon area.