2012年8月5日日曜日

Returning Indigo at Omiya Shrine - July 28-29

The first of the Returning Indigo events took place on July 28-29 at the Omiya Shrine in Sanagouchi Village, Tokushima.  The small shrine to right of the main shrine building is dedicated to the god Saruto-hiko who is said to have appeared to local villagers and taught them how to process indigo and dye cloth with it.

I am Ai, We are Ai Project - Returning Indigo at Omiya Shrine in Sanagouchi, Tokushima, Japan.  Over 200 lengths of cloth dyed by dyers throughout Japan who use indigo grown and produced in Tokushima. The small shrine to the right is the one dedicated to Saruta-hiko. (July 28-29, 2012)
The shrine to Saruta-hiko at Omiya Shrine in Sanagouchi, Tokushima (shot in February, 2012 when I was initially scouting out potential sited for this project.

I made an offering of dried indigo plants and the priest placed them directly in front of the shrine to Saruta-hiko.

Visitors to the first of six I am Ai, We are Ai - Returning Indigo sites selecting their favorite shade of indigo to make a pin with.

Visitors to the I am Ai, We are Ai - Returning Indigo project at Omiya Shrine cutting out a section of the indigo-dyed cloth they selected and making a pin with it.  The pins are numbered to correspond to the dyer who dyed the cloth.  This list will be posted as part of the final warehouse installation in October.


Detail of cloth dyed by dyers throughout Japan who use indigo grown and produced in Tokushima.  As visitors make pins from their favorite shade of indigo, holes are cut into the cloth that will accuulate as the cloths travel to six different sites of historical significance to indigo in the region.  The straw mats below the cloth were used to keep the composting indigo leaves warm during processing.

Samples of the indigo pins made by visitors to the Returning Indigo portion of the I am Ai, We are Ai art project that is part of the 2012 National Cultural Festival in Tokushima, Japan.

Detail of cloth dyed by dyers throughout Japan who use indigo grown and produced in Tokushima.  Above the cloth fresh indigo plants are hung to dry for the duration of the event.  Over the two days the plants turn from green to blue and the indigo in the leaves slowly oxidizes. Before being winnowed and returned to the grower for processing, the dried indigo plants will be used in the warehouse installation.