Terumi Saito's textile piece, SHINTO in the JUNGLE, activates a narrative which unites energy and joy by giving life to space, objects, and creatures. It explores a wide range of materials collected from many different locations including: hula hoops, marine ropes, old sandals, discarded fabric rolls, a wooden frame from a used painted canvas, wooden pieces from a scrap box and sake bottles from a restaurant in the city. All natural ropes, cotton strings, and silk yarns with red colors were hand-dyed using Madder roots. The purpose of material exploration was to transport each object and give it another life. The idea was driven by the Japanese Animism belief, “Shinto 神道”, “Shin 神” meaning spirit or kami (deity), and “To 道” meaning a philosophical path or study. Saito grew up in a traditional Japanese house with her family where the worship of Kami was always cherished. This experience motivated her to create a sanctuary space to spread her voice related to Spirit and Life. The project was further developed into two collaborative installations and performances with the artist and musician Broken Thread. The organic lines in the textile piece represent, “Growing Roots,” which implies, “Although we cannot bloom at once, we can slowly grow our roots and prepare a solid ground for coming life.”
Terumi Saito is a Japanese mixed media artist. Her creative practice incorporates various materials and methods from fiber art to painting and performance. She believes objectifying her voice as an art piece is a significant method to communicate with others. Saito received her BFA in Graphic Design from Tama Art University in Tokyo and is currently pursuing her MFA in Textiles at Parsons School of Design in New York.