Punk – Junko Oki


Junko Oki – A Bulb, 2017 (Detail)

Junki Oki started her artistic practice in 2002 right before turning 40. Her work consists of embroidery on old fabrics, often several centuries old, collected by her late mother. Her work focuses primarily on human relationships, particularly those of her family.  Personal memories seem to spiral into abstract intricate thread drawings. Junko Oki is based in Kanagawa, Japan.
I had admired her poetic and authentic work online, so when I learned that Office Baroque in Brussels was hosting her first solo exhibition in Belgium I just had to go and see her work in person.


Junko Oki – A Jacket, 2016


Junko Oki – Fingertip, 2017


Junko Oki – Anna Maria, 2016


Junko Oki – A Mineral, 2017


Junko Oki – Snow, Ruby, Lemon, 2017


Junko Oki – Memories, 2017


Junko Oki – Time Machine, 2017


IMG_9196Apart from her 2 and 3 dimensional embroidered work, Oki is also known for a series of artist books. The success she enjoyed after showing her work to the world was compiled in a beatiful book ‘Punk’ that not only captures her work but also the unique atmosphere she manages to instill in each work.


Punk – Book on Junko Oki’s work, 2014

Solo exhibition Junko Oki on view at Office Baroque, Brussels till 27 May 2017. The gallery has some copies of Punk for sale. Check out their website.




Moving Textiles


What I particularly liked in the ‘Moving Textiles’ exhibition in Ronse (Belgium) is the exploration of how artists challenged each other by cross-border collaboration.


Each work of art went through several interventions, carried out by 3 to 4 artists from Belgium and/or UK. Everything in the process took place anonymously. The participants did not know who would carry out an intervention before or after them. Everything was carefully registered by means of codes.


In the works you recognize specific textile techniques such as knitting, weaving, lace, sewing, cutting, cut-offs, felt, tufting, digital printing, embroidering, etc… Interesting!
Oh, and there’s some lovely clothes inspiration for grabs too.
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If you want to find out more, please check the website of Moving Textiles -Crysalis and the Metamorphosis blog.




Elaine Reichek made very diverse works over the past 40 years but my personal favourite is Dwellings (1982-83).
For this series she used ethnographic photographs from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She was troubled by their pretense of being objective, scientific, nonideological records when in fact they are deeply invested in two related codes—those of Western science and of photographic representation. Both of these codes present themselves as universal but each represents only one way of seeing among many possibilities. Elaine Reichek hand-colored the photographs of shelters from different cultures around the world and paired  them with three-dimensional hand-knitted replicas at the same scale, with added details. Each replica—hung upside down on a peg, collapsed and inverted—abstracts the textural and structural elements of the dwelling from which it is derived.
Elaine Reichek lives and works in New York. Check out her work here.