NDURA NO MORI ヌーヂュラの森 II
Textile Art Project 2018-2019
The new called “Ndura no Mori“ Project is an installation of a series of wearable pieces. The pieces were produced during the final year of Meni’s Master Program in Craft – Dyeing and Weaving.
The project focuses on the perception of the Forest as seen by the Meni (the visitor) and the Bambuti (as the dwellers). Recalling the time of his visits to Epulu between 2011-2014, this artwork is the materialization his experiences .
The investigations made upon this project were completed on basis on the writings of Dr. Mark Mosko and Dr. Ichikawa which covered the symbolism of the Forest for the indigenous peoples of the Ituri project.
The final installation is the association of 3 series of 3 – 2 – 3 artworks which are the elements that stand as the essence of the Forest.
The Forest is presented by Mosko who cited Turnbull C. On his spatial representation of the Land of Bambutis.
The correlation of the Forest and Kinship metaphor is explained with the spherical shape of the Forest depicted by spherical shape of a womb cited as the womb metaphor. Those comparaison are also reflected in the layout of the Bambuti family hut thus extended to the Forest. It reveals a clear spatial isomorphism that Mosko explained.
Mosko stated that The Forest and Hut are spherically or circularly shaped, and both possess a distinctively marked central point : the hearth of fire in the Hut and Forest no-man’s land , sacred place , believed to be in the center of the Forest.
From Ichikawa, the Forest as a “pool of life” , is explained as the womb. The place from which indigenous people are born and the grave in which they are returning.
Seen then as the afterlife retreat , it is reflected that all the cycle of life is taking place within The Forest.
The statement proving the attachment to that ecosystem as the only place where harmonious life could be experimented.
Adding to those previous narratives, the physical world encountered during Meni’s travels, the forest is an another world for Him.
Made of trees, birds, snakes, monkeys, ducks or the endless Epulu river’ streams … That “noisy and delicate“ natural world is totally different from the “noisy city suburb” where he was living in Kinshasa.
The forest became then his melodious, peaceful stream Song and that retreat where the close reality and bond of Humans to Nature is well expressed.
But, at the same time, Meni had testimonies of the huge destructive activities like deforestation which destroyed natural landscape and balance habitat by waves of “modernization” with plastic pollution and exploitation of ressources as wood or minerals.
In final, the installation presented :
1. The Forest, that world where Humans, as part of the Whole, are living harmoniously within the Nature with others creatures.
2. The people of the Forest, indigenous peoples or Bambutis, known like famous dancers or “Dancer of God “ in Ancient Egypt; coming from the region of the Mountains of the Moon , source of the Nile River.
3. The Forest, that Mother who infuses Life to the whole Nature from the center of the Ituri forest.
4. The Forest ,that “pool of life”, thus a precious vase, yet broken because of the threats over the years by deforestation and cultural alienation of the peoples living into. But … but luckily, in constant repairs made through the work of environmentalists and human rights activists which are paired with the resilience of the Nature and its People.
Seen more closely , the central piece as the Forest’s Spirit and the Mother, is a garment made of two parts:
a. The upper body wrapped in one layer of kimono’s cotton fabric . It is dyed by rice paste resist dyeing with extracts from Sappanwood, madder, indigo, Logwood and a green pigment used for traditional Japanese painting Nihonga.
b. The lower part , made of sixteen panels of kimono’s cotton fabric sewn over a skirt. The panels are divided on three sections:
The upper part is dyed by brush dyeing with tea extracts ;
The middle part by rice paste resist dyeing with extract from sappawood, madder, indigo and green pigment;
The lower part by Japanese tie and dye (deep dyeing) in a Japanese indigo organic vat.
c. The circled fabric, representing the whole forest as a “pool” in which lays all of the other pieces .
It is made of cotton fabric dyed by Japanese tie and dye (deep dyeing) in a japanese indigo organic vat.
On the top of the fabric, several golden foiled lines were applied expressing the nature resilience and the actions to protect the forest, related to the Japanese repairing technique of ceramics called “kintsugi”.
The three pieces on the edge of the circle, representing the Forest’s children, the Bambutis or Dancer of God from the Mountains of the Moon, are made of two pieces of garments made of :
Tops (3) of cotton fabric, dyed by rice paste resist dyeing and brush dyeing ;
Skirts (3) of cotton fabric, dyed on one face by wood board clamp resist dyeing with Japanese indigo (Itajime Shibori). The other face is dyed with tea extract and Japanese indigo by rice paste resist dyeing and brush dyeing.
The details , recalling Ancient Egypt, with green metallic foiling was applied by stenciling.
Finally, the three others pieces , in between the central piece and the edge pieces, representing the forest as the harmonious world where animals and humans being are living harmoniously, are made of cotton dresses dyed by Japanese tie and dye (stitching – Nuishibori) with Japanese indigo.
Each dresses are decorated with several line of golden foiled lines as the piece recalling the broken vase.
On top garment , an overtop layer of organic cotton jersey as a cape was dyed by stencil discharged dyeing of Japanese indigo dye. The capes contain encircled motifs of animals living all together in the Ituri Forest.
Techniques: Rice paste resist dyeing (Katazome), Japanese Tie and Dye(Nuishibori, Itajime shibori), Discharge Dyeing (stenciling), metallic foiling, draping, flat patterns drawing.
Materials: several Cotton fabrics, Black Tea, Japanese Indigo, Sappanwood, Madder, Logwood, Mineral pigment.