Tuesday, 3 June 2014

unconventional fabric habitats

Japanese artist Aki Inomata amazes everyone with her latest
piece of work, a living interaction between female bagworm
moths - which usually live in portable cases constructed out
of plant debris -
and pieces of coordinated vintage clothes in
different styles and patterns. Spellbinding pieces blurring the
boundaries between biology and human craftsmanship that
Aki wanted to be showcased at a department store ”as a 
kind of commentary on clothes and women's fashion” 
as she declares.

”Male bagworms leave their protective cases when they
become adults and become moths. However, female
bagworms remain in their bags for their whole life. They
simply stay and wait for the males. When I heard about this,
I felt that there are some similarities with the human world”

she says. Born in Tokyo, Aki explores various concepts such
as adaptation, change, protection and the architectonics of
nature being strongly inspired by the natural world and the
phenomenal capability of insects of using the environment to
fabricate sensational creations in order to protect themselves.

For her 'Girl, Girl, Girl...' project, Aki trimmed different textiles
from recycled looks into tiny stripes and let the female flightless
bagworms build their protective case transforming the vintage
fabrics into miniature cocoon shells (cutting strips of colored
paper giving them to bagworms to make their cases is a

 traditional Japanese game for children). ”I gave the bagworms
pieces of women's clothes and made them believe that they
were protective cases. I cut pieces of clothes into thin pieces,
gave them to the bagworms and they used to make their own
bags” she explains adding that she actually spent two years
raising her bagworms and filming the process.

'Girl, Girl, Girl...' is a sublime blending of artistry and biology,
a stunning parade of downy, beaded and woolly patterned
fabric habitats customized by the tiny creatures, unique
creations suspended from the tree branches they live on
and paired with the original outfits the fabrics come from.
The sui generis nature of moths has never been told better!

> all images © by Aki Inomata <

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