Oil Tombstone

Oil Tombstone 6
Surplus thread
Photo: Naoyasu Takemura

《石油の墓石 6》


It is a chemical fibre tomb made of woven chemical fibres. The yarns I use are those that have connected me to various people and places. As I want to create works by knitting materials that are available on the spot in the future, I have been thinking about what to do with the one tonne of yarn lying in storage, and I began to imagine the network that the yarn itself has, including the raw materials and various memories associated with the yarn.

Acrylic yarn is made from petroleum. There is a theory that petroleum is the carcass of a creature hundreds of millions of years old. The yarn I am holding in my hands now may be the graveyard of prehistoric creatures. That’s when the idea of making acrylic yarn graves came to me. It is also a memorial to the thread that has connected me to people and the city so many times.

The design of Japanese tombs with piles of stones is a simplified version of the Buddhist five-storey pagoda, which is meant to be a place for ancestral memorial services and a place to pray for Buddhahood. The act of weaving the stones from the bottom up is like the act of mourning the dead, and the layered pattern is reminiscent of oil-producing geological strata.

Where people live, there are graves. They are a part of the daily life of the living, and are places where people visit from time to time to remember and recall the deceased, and to make offerings to their ancestors. The tombs are beacons in everyday life that make us think about the origins of petroleum, which is an essential part of our modern life, and about the ancient past.