In my previous blog “My childhood story 2/2”, I wrote what chrysanthemum means to me. In this work with a lot of hexagon boxes, I will put chrysanthemum in each lid. Each box represents life which contains life experience such as joy, sorrow, love and hate. It is like a treasure box of secret which cannot be known to others. When you open the box, you won’t know the secret just like you cannot know someone’s life experience by dissecting his/her brain or heart.
The hexagon shape is taken from one of Japanese traditional patterns “kikko” (tortoiseshell pattern). It is often seen in Japanese fabric and at the same time, seen universally. In nature, honeycomb is well known as precise hexagon pattern, and hexagon can be achieved with natural gravity when round glasses are stacked and fused. This pattern is found in Site of Palmyra in Syria, the remains of ancient city which flourished as a trade city on the Silk Road.
Japan was the terminal of this Silk Road and imported patterns such as arabesque developed in ancient Islamic world and possibly this hexagon pattern, too. In Nara National Museum in Japan, there are collections of Shosoin Treasures. Shosoin is name of 1,500 year-old wooden storehouse of Todai-ji, one of most famous temples in Nara. In Shosoin, there were countless treasures imported through the Silk Road and gorgeous crafts made in Japan adopting the beauty came from overseas. Whenever possible, I visit Nara National Museum when they show Shosoin Treasures to public once a year in autumn. I love these ancient treasures and want to convey the essence of tradition I carry in my blood.