Wednesday 29 May 2019

Real Kimono ladies

Isn't this collection of Oriental souvenir dolls just so charming! For at least 6 weeks I'd resisted the allure of this adorable set sitting on a shelf in my local Vinnies shop. I go in there at least once a week and these demure ladies would blink sweetly at me...unwanted and not purchased. Perhaps the "cultural appropriation" guilt syndrome was lurking in my reluctance to acquire them? Does it indicate I might be reveling in my imperialist tendencies that I bought these figures to display in my home?

wow, seems like a lot of over thinking.

The 4 dolls in the back row were very nicely made in Japan for the tourist trade (yikes! Japanese people making money out of selling their traditional culture!). They aren't plastic, the heads, hands and feet are bisque porcelain. The clothes are real silk and hand stitched onto the figures, except for the 2 larger dolls at the front, which I suspect are Chinese rather than Japanese.

Those of you who have followed my art for a few years will be aware that I made art dolls for a decade. So I love female figurative sculpture, especially in its folk art expression rather than the high art marble statues of antiquity. Dolls and all they conjure up about femininity are made in all cultures from the beginning of history and are representative of fascinating internal narratives that we whisper to each other.

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