All images © 2023 Choi+Shine Architects
The Power of One - Making
Crochet and Assembly Volunteers
Essential elements of the spaces for worship were studied and presented in abstract forms; Pagoda for its verticality; A series of gates (Toori) for its repetition, directionality and the symbolic significance as a tunnel between the secular and the sacred ; Temple as a hollow body to be completed; A bridge that connects from the past to the future, a procession.
Fukuoka is a pattern rich city. The patterns from nature, architectural details and urban scape were studied and implemented into the design.
The geometric and mathematical pattern sharpens the minds and repetitive movement of making creates a ritual; Every part of the work is touched by hands many times during the process; The laborious process embodies the makers’ patience and perseverance.
With the help of Museum staff and Aijibi volunteers, the project called for local volunteers, first to crochet segments of the project, then to sew the crochet pieces together. During about two months of workshop period, the volunteers worked closely with the artist, learned how to crochet, or taught each other and shared their progress, checking if they are following the patterns created by the artist to achieve the coherent whole.
Once all the lace pieces were crocheted, local volunteers worked together to join the crocheted pieces forming large segments, ready for installation.
Through the process, the volunteers bonded closely and created a true sense of community, while everyone shared ownership of the work to achieve a single goal: to create a beautiful work together. Skills learned from generations before connected us with the memories from the past and also with the people from the area whom we had never known.
“Many people have come to experience your work. Someone comes from Kagoshima pref. They say not only beautiful, but feeling something clear and positive mind….the security staffs in the studio are also very impressed everyday. Very very happy work, they say” , Hatsune Miyamoto, FAAM
It is saddens us that this summer is ending. The chorus of cicada at Ohori Park, turtles on our way to the studio, giant lotus blossoms in front of castle ruins and sweat beads on everyone’s foreheads despite overworking fans; we already know it will be greatly missed.
It was a huge challenge. To show how to make various complicated patterns to many people who had never seen the crochet hook before, in different language, in such a short time and in such a hot studio! Meeting daily for many weeks, we experienced the volunteers slowly warming to the concept of making art together under a shared, common goal. Our relationships evolved from a foreign artist, to a teacher, to friends as we truly shared the ownership of the work and the vision that now unites us.
The project became the physical manifestation of making and connecting art, craft and relationships. Barriers of language, different skills, culture and age slowly evaporated, replaced with hard work, determination and a lot of laughter. The bond of friendships will be ever more enduring than the artwork.
The work that united all of us is now complete, stands as a joyous emblem of everyone’s love and dedication. The art has become a signifier of the power each of us has in order to make a difference, The Power of One, or The Power as One, as it would not have been possible without the people of Fukuoka.
We are grateful for the kindness and support shown to us from everyone involved with the project, and the success of making the project is a testament to the volunteers, the technical crew, the museum staff, the City and to unseen supporter who helped to make this project a reality. We now feel very much at home in Fukuoka, and we promise that we will come back.
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