Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Well, I was going to wait to post about this until next week when the show opens but after seeing so many great sneak peeks, I can't wait! About a month ago, my friend Ana told me that her pen pal, Christina, asked her to participate in a Kokeshi show that she was curating in San Diego at a gallery called Subtext. Now, a month later, almost all the Kokeshi dolls are complete.

The Kokeshi doll is a traditional folk art form of Japan dating back to approximately the middle of the Edo Period (1600-1868). A friend of mine at work who is from Japan told me that the Kokeshi doll was not always a sought after item. To control the growth of population, if a baby was born and it was not a boy who could carry on the family name, the child was killed. Oftentimes, a Kokeshi doll was given to the parents in memory of their child. Centuries later, the Kokeshi has been reinterpreted by artists around the world.

Before shipping her piece off to San Diego, Ana gave me a sneak peek of her Kokeshi, and wow, it's really cool! To get a glimpse of how some of the other artists in the show have interpreted the Kokeshi, check out Christina's wonderful flickr set. Participating artists include Julie West, Calef Brown, Camilla Engman, Fiona Hewitt, Marcos Chin and many more.

Kokeshi opens Saturday, November 3rd, 6-10 pm at Subtext (619-876-0664).


Christina Conway said...

So lovely of you to post this event. Thanks!

There are many different stories regarding the Kokeshi, it is such an ancient tradition that the purpose and meaning has changed throughout the years. For the most part, it is a highly regarded sculpture with a positive purpose.

maura said...

There certainly are a lot of stories regarding the Kokeshi. I read somewhere else that they have also been created to honor those loved ones who have passed away or as a tribute to someone in your life that has helped you or who you look up to. It seems as if the possibilities of the Kokeshi are endless - a great idea for a show!