Roots | Cyclo Project 2019 Tsushima, Japan

42cm x 115cm
Ryijy made from surplus textile, welded and polished steel. Partly made in community art workshop in Tsushima Aichi.

Ryijy is a woven Finnish long-tufted tapestry or knotted-pile carpet hanging. The name ryijy originated with the Scandinavian word rya, which means “thick cloth”. The decorative ryijy rug is an art form unique to Finland. In the late 19th century, ryijy rug weaving developed as a folk art. Some of the most beautiful tapestries were woven then.

On Sunday 15th of December I held a community art workshop at Lumier Center, Tsushima Aichi. The workshop was part of my residency, where I was invited as a guest artist for celebrating Finland – Japan 100 years of diplomatic year.

In this workshop participants learn how to make a modernised Ryijy by Finnish artist Johanna Sinkkonen. The project was implemented in two parts; Metal pieces were made in Turku Finland and Ryijy in community art workshops in Tsushima Japan.

The workshop was shaped by the conditions of the environment and its materiality, as well as the various residents / participants. Coexistence and recycling ideology were key elements of the workshop. Participants brought their own surplus textiles with them.

The idea and inspiration of Roots came from the people of Tsushima. In these two weeks what I spent in Lumier Center, I felt like home. I fell in love with this amazing island even more and I really felt that I planted some roots of my own there.

The top part of this work is made by the participants of the community art workshop. The middle part is made by me and with the rope between, we are all connected together.

The project is part of the Cyclo Project 2019, which is part of Finland – Japan’s 100th anniversary of friendship.