Part of the Window Projects:
"What does a Kewpie doll have to offer the world? If anything has karma, why not a Kewpie doll?"
Drop down to Fayette Street in Armory Square and you don't even have to leave the street to ponder the above question further. It relates to the exhibition open now and running through June 7. The work is on view as part of the WareHouse Gallery's window projects -- displaying art as a department store might in one of its windows on fifth avenue on the isle of Manhattan.
About the exhibition:
Yoshiko Miki's work addresses issues of death and rebirth. The death of her mother three years ago caused Miki to search for answers as to why some people leave life at such a young age. She found that the only way to address this was to disregard the idea of life having an ending point and instead to view life as a continuation.
Influenced by her Buddhist background, Miki wondered who her mother might have been re-born as: "A man? Or a woman?" and where she could be: "Here in America with me? Or back in Japan with my father and my little sister?"
In reincarnation, the karma of a person continues into the next life; no matter what form they are reborn. Miki depicts her mother's reincarnation through Kewpie dolls--an iconic image of happiness and love, words that also describe her mother's approach to life. The subject of rebirth is reinforced by the infantile nature of the dolls and by their number. The 80 dolls signify the importance of the numbers 8 and 0 which represent endless life; when drawn out, there is no beginning or ending point for either number.
Significantly, when the number 8 is rotated 90 degrees in either direction, it becomes , a symbol for infinity. KEWPIE KARMA/80 deals with themes of death, rebirth and karma through an iconic medium.