Materials: Soil, Sand, Rice glue, Caustic Lime, Plant cellulose glue, Linen fibre and Natural pigments such as the soot from burnt pine, iron oxide or indigo. On a wood Panel.
Method: River sand is mixed with homemade rice glue and spread onto a wooden panel. Soil is then spread onto the panel with a trowel and this process is repeated, with the artist scratching, shaving, polishing and spreading until the desired texture is achieved. Lastly a finishing soil (のろ), mixed with caustic Lime and cellulose glue is placed on top.
This smooth, soft wood panel employs a mixture of colours and layered textures to create a striking composition. This work uses predominantly black tones with a white and earthy brown seeping in at points of tension. The hand-made essence of this work comes alive in the corners, where we can see the cracks and layers beneath seeping through to the surface. It is an arresting and unique form.
About the Artist
Emi Suzuki (b.1984) is a Japanese artist based in Kanagawa and Shizuoka. After graduating from a junior college of art, she worked as an artist for more than ten years.
As a result of lifestyle changes that occured due to the pandemic, and in contrast to her previous use of more traditional materials and techniques, she began producing abstract works using soil. Emi, who now primarily uses hand-collected soil to produce her works, believes the tactile process of sourcing her materials to be ‘pure and powerful’.
Emi Suzuki’s 泥(Mud) paintings are spread and polished using a technique influenced by traditional Japanese plastering techniques. Her repetitive process of scratching, shaving, polishing and spreading, helps her work to mirror aspects of nature which take many years to accumulate.
‘I use real colour and texture created by nature into my work, in contrast to a time where almost everything is controlled by human.’