Motif: after Kitagawa Utamaro
Type: Embroidered painting
Technique: Mixed embroidery
Year: 2016 - ongoing
Dimension: 20 x 30 cm | 7.9 x 11.8 in
Number of stitches: over 200,000
Thread length: over 2.3 km | over 1.4 mi
Thread colours: 22
Development: over 100 person hours
Embroidery Young Lady Blowing on a Poppin is based upon a graphic print that shows a woman in a half-length portrait, turned to the left, blowing into a toy pipe. The artist Utamaro has succeeded in capturing subtle aspects of personality and fashion details of the lady, her face and limbs elegantly exaggerated. Sprinkled little cherry flower motifs on light pink checker-board design of the kimono and neatly dressed hair evoke a sense of youth, femininity and decency of a daughter from a prosperous family.
Japanese colour woodblock prints such as this one has had a profound impact on Western art of the late 19th century and influenced Art Nouveau, Impressionism and other avantgarde movements. No wonder that the Japanese popular art remains strong and influential. Parallels with ukiyo-e art can be drawn even with the anime and manga art of today.
Utilizing a wide variety of embroidery techniques, from the proprietary Ercigoj stitch to classic Chenille chain stitch and enhanced elements of regular embroidery techniques helped achieve an interesting contrast between the background and the chiselled Lady. Special thin embroidery threads were applied with great precision to create almost microscopic details of hair and contours.