Nika Feldman: From the Remains

From the Remains is a hand-stitched textile inspired by the history of the Buddhist Rag Robe. This work represents the final conclusion to a year long studio practice of cutting heart shaped pieces one by one from second hand kimonos. As part of a series of seven installations, this work stands alone. In the other installations, it is the fabric hearts that play a central role, however in this work there are no heart pieces used.  Instead, the garment is made from all the tiny scraps that would fall to the studio floor every day during the process of cutting the hearts.

Nika Feldman: From the Remains

The method devised for sewing the unevenly shaped, miscellaneous scraps together consisted of creating a two sided fabric. On one side of the robe all the stitching is revealed, as is the organic contours of the fabric scraps. Whereas the other side, those same scraps take on a very orderly form of 29 small stripes and no hand stitching is seen in those same areas. The 29 smallest stripes in the work can be multiplied by a row of 21 medium sized stripes, and further multiplied by five such larger rows to give a total of: 3,045 tiny floor scraps used in conjunction with other larger deconstructed kimono fabric to create the final piece. For the significantly larger stripes of the work, the fabric came from the second hand kimono that I used as my personal robe. On these larger stripes the running stitches throughout the work are visible through both sides.

Nika Feldman: From the Remains

The double sided nature of this garment plays with traditions of Japanese dress. There is a customary practice of wearing, hidden from public view, the playful color and pattern on the inside be it through an underneath kimono or just in the lining of the formal kimono. While on the exterior, the kimono would customarily portray a more humble and solemn palette and pattern.

Having created two separate identities within a single textile, each was portrayed with its own performance based installation. The ‘rag’ side of the textile was used for the performance: Honen-in, and the ‘clean’ side was used for the performance: Surrender.

Nika Feldman: From the Remains

This installation, From the Remains was exhibited at the Kyoto Art Center in 2009. This work was made while living in Japan as a Monbukagakusho scholarship recipient.