The Life of Discarded Things - No.6 'The Best China'
Japanese folklore & proverbs are a huge source of inspiration to me and this series of prints looks at an area of particular fascination. In Japanese folklore all things have a spirit (or a god residing within them), including such items as household tools and objects. In literature and illustrated books there are examples of Yōkai (a supernatural monster or spirit/妖怪) which have been transformed from everyday items into mischievous characters once they reach 100 years in age. But in addition, an object that has been tossed aside or remained unused without the proper thanks can also become animated into taking revenge. This series of prints will highlight some of the characters you may find familiar in your own home, and might give you pause for thought.
Sixth in the series is ‘The Best China’.
Every print comes with a signed and stamped paper 'story slip' (see images above) describing how the character depicted came to their discarded life:
“The Life of Discarded Things/ No.6 The Best China/相撲陶器
This set of ‘best china’ had been kept in a cabinet in the dining room - both the dinner service and the room itself kept ‘for best’ and only seeing use when the owners threw dinner parties or invited family members around for Christmas dinner. But as the owners grew older, such special occasions tended to be held elsewhere, and so the china found itself at a loose end for years at a time.
Being a resourceful bunch, this group of discarded objects decided to keep themselves occupied in a sporting activity, and set up their own sumo stable. The soup tureen has worked hard to become the ‘yokozuna’ of the set, and is seen here performing the ‘shiko’ - a strengthening exercise and ritual to expel demons from the ring. The teacups, known for their fastidiousness, have even formed their own referee association.
Now when the owner cleans the dining room, she wonders about the salt she is always finding on the table..."
The story slip can be pasted on to the backing board of a frame, or mounted in a window under the print itself for framing if desired (if using bespoke framing).
Individually hand printed using Japanese pigment inks and hand carved rubber printing blocks, with ink details. Each print will have natural small variations, due to the methods used - the one you receive may not be exactly the same as the one shown in the photographs.
Printed on 100g oatmeal 100% recycled paper (with natural flecks).
Paper size: A3 (297 x 420 mm or 11.7 x 16.5 inches).
Signed in pencil and stamped with nakamura characters [中村] in red ink.
Please note: the print is sold unframed, but fits an IKEA ribba frame and mount (about an inch would need to be trimmed from the bottom of the paper to do this).