Japanese fiber artist, Naoko Serino is known for her creativity in the use of non-traditional fibers in her art. Serino’s work examines the role of illumination in space and has been showcased in exhibitions all over the world. At DeNada, we were drawn to her light and airy installations that are created from strong vegetable fibers known as jute.
Jute is a highly sustainable vegetable fiber that is often termed “The Golden Fiber” for its shiny golden color and variety of uses. It has been rated the most environmentally-friendly fiber because it is biodegradable, carbon-dioxide neutral, does not need damaging pesticides or fertilizer, and can be regrown in just four to six months. Jute is a rain-fed crop and is therefore grown in places with Monsoon-seasons like India, Bangladesh, and China. However its uses are not limited to Southeast Asia or the South Pacific – Jute is exported in significant quantities to countries all over the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil, and Japan. It is considered the one of the most important vegetable fibers, second only to cotton, and like cotton is used in many different capacities. After the fibers are harvested from the plant, they are dried and then spun into stronger threads that are used to make clothing, rope, sacks, etc.
Serino uses these threads to create three-dimensional fiber art that accentuates light and space. She creates individual shapes by wrapping jute around a form. Once it sets, she removes the form and connects each shape using more jute fibers. These shapes and forms are derived from Serino’s innermost memories. When her memory is stimulated, she creates shapes with the jute threads that are reflections of her imagination. In this way, Serino’s installations connect her audience with her deepest memories.
Her installations are deceiving – They appear delicate and airy but are in fact constructed from strong fibers. For us at DeNada, Serino’s pieces serve as a reminder that strength can be found in the most unseemly places.