The Floating Blossom Outotsu Food Stall

Visiting temples at the height of cherry blossom season was magical, already casting a semi-real sensation to the experience of passing by rows of food stalls or “yatai”, brightly decorated fabric walls flapping in the breeze. These small otherworldly theatres seem to offer something so exciting that it could not possibly be true. I wondered whether the yatai were offering something clearly out of reach for the money: Passion, Wisdom, Prosperity, etc. Not only would the exchange be a trick, there may be some kind of penalty to pay like Chihiro’s parents in Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away” who are turned into pigs when they steal from the food stalls.

Working for 2 weeks at Atelier Outotsu was the beginning of my re-engagement with etching and introduction to Japanese Woodcut. The residency also started me on a journey of exploring “yokai” (supernatural beings), which are gradually infiltrating more of the images.

The project was supported by Wales Arts International, Arts Council Wales.