すっぽんと月

Turtle and 

the Moon

35 x 15 inches

When I was studying mounting with Akira Okazaki in Kyoto, I came across the expression “suppon to tsuki” (snapping turtle and the moon) on a piece of advertising. Okazaki-san explained that it was a metaphor for two things with a huge gap in quality—the lowly turtle mucking about in the mud compared to the purity of the full moon high in the sky. I thought the image was interesting and later asked the artist Fumiyo Yoshikawa if she would paint it for me. I found the expression on her turtle, looking up with longing at the faraway moon, very affecting. I also had an immediate idea of how I wanted to mount this piece. I envisioned indigo-dyed silk starting dark at the bottom, gradually fading to white at the top. Months later, textile specialist Yoshiko Wada let me use her indigo vat to produce such a piece.

The finials are a watery blue celadon.