Introducing Gardiner

We are very excited to introduce our first guest at Kokono, Gardiner Concannon O’kain!

2020年度、そしてKokono最初のアーティストが決まりました!北米アメリカ合衆国、イリイ州シカゴに在住のガーディナー (Gardiner O’kain)です。

We got to know Gardiner through our mutual friend in Chicago, Fred and Kat early this year. Through our email exchange, Gardiner and I (Sumie) discovered that we appreciate similar things in life such as Kintsugi (pottery mending technique). Gardiner also helped me rediscover another mending tradition of Japan called Boro (old garment full of mending patches and fabric reinforcement as a result of years and years of use). She expressed her interests in staying at Kokono as a base for exploration and to delve deeper into Japanese craft. I was quickly pulled into the world of Gardiner and became intrigued with where she grew up and what makes her who she is today.

Not only I could tell she has curiosity towards Japan but also she is well versed in the culture.Then I discovered that her father is Japanese American. That helped me connect the dots!Our conversations around craft and mending quickly evolved into way of life to different cultures to what is currently taking place as I write this, a state of society.

My interaction with Gardiner comes with ease as Japan connects us instantaneously, yet each time we speak I am excited to stumble upon something unfamiliar as she shares her perspective on life, childhood story and story of everyday life in Chicago.

I feel honored that we could welcome her at Kokono. I also feel excited that she is sharing her journey with us and letting us take part in it.

As for the situation with Corona virus, we do not know what the traveling restriction will look like for the rest of the 2020 and years to come. It definitely became our concern as we contemplated about Kokono. Can we host artists? Can we gather together? What does creativity do (can do) for us, now and in the future. All these questions are still relevant but I felt that staying in touch with Gardiner and sharing some of our interactions with you is
something I could do despite what future may hold for us.

I hope you enjoy getting to know Gardiner via Kokono as we are!

出会いのきっかけはシカゴに住む共通の友人でした。そしてメールでのやり取りが始まったのが今年の初旬。日本というルーツを接点に文面上で想いを共有しながらお互いへの理解を深めていきました。日系アメリカ人のお父さんとアイリッシュ系アメリカ人のお母さんを持つガーディナー。2019年の夏に初めて日本を訪れた事、次の来日では長期滞在をして日本の事をより深く知りたいと思った事。金継ぎやボロに興味があり、繕う事、育む事、受け継ぐ事を大切にする生活を営みたいなど、様々な想いを語ってくれました。

予定では今年の秋か2021年の春の滞在を目指していたのですが、その矢先にコロナ騒動。さてどうしたものかと悩み、先の見えない将来に戸惑いや焦燥感もありました。そんな中、ハッとしました。不透明な未来に心を奪われるより、今ここで、ここから出来ることに気持ちを向ける。目の前にある生活と丁寧に向き合う。その積み重ねが大切という事に再度気付かされたのです。

ということで、気持ちを新たにKokonoの原点からスタートです!

まずは私たちのオンラインでの交流の様子をここで少しずつ公開して行こうと思います。ガーディナーが日本やアメリカの日系コミュニティから受けている影響、創作に対する想い、ガーディナーの人となりなどが伝わります様に。

ガーディナーが来日する日がいつになるかは分かりませんが、ここからのKokono。

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