Yoshitaka Boiler Suit

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Yoshitaka Boiler Suit honours Hatanaka’s grandfather, connecting his love of fishing and the significance of fishing to her wider family history and that of Japanese Canadians to the historical Japanese practice of gyotaku, non-toxic fish printing that was originally performed by fishermen to record the size of catches. The incorporated paper rice bags were collected by her father, who is also represented in the sumi ink painting depicting him, his brother and father fishing in childhood (top of the garment).

Image Description: The images show a boiler suit, or factory worker's coveralls, that is made entirely of washi (Japanese paper) and handmade paper using gampi fibre, sewn together. It is a patchwork of small scraps of paper, collected paper rice bags with graphics of rice grain and text, washi printed directly with real fish (a method called gyotaku) using black sumi ink, and washi painted with sumi ink. The suit is a range of warm brown tones from pale orange-y brown to deep earth-y browns, as the paper has been dyed with kakishibu (aged persimmon dye) in a range of intensities. On the front of the legs there are repeated handmade papers created using black-pigmented fibre, such that the black fibres are flecked throughout the sheet and dispersed. Along the sides of the pants are a repetition of gyotaku-printed real fish alternating directions. The front chest has a panel featuring a simplified sumi-ink painted image that was based on an image of the artist's father, uncle, and grandfather fishing in a boat. Marks denoting the waves ripples out from the boat. Patch-worked pieces of washi woodblock-prints span the upper back of the suit and centre, adding texture in black ink and white ink.

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