Kiss the Joy as It Flies
silk organza fabric strips, jute cord, bamboo pole
O-mikuji (御御籤, 御神籤, or おみくじ) are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Literally "sacred lot", these fortunes are usually received by making a small offering (generally a five-yen coin as it is considered good luck) and randomly choosing a strip of paper from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good.
In the event of the fortune being good, the bearer has two options: they can also tie it to the tree or wires so that the fortune has a greater effect or they can keep it for luck. O-mikuji are available at most shrines, and remain one of the traditional activities related to shrine-going. It is available year-round but most popular at New Year’s.
For my project, I constructed a structure with solid vertical strips that held “O-mikuji,” created by tying overhead knots with strips of colorful silk organza fabric. The idea was to create an environment reminiscent of a shrine, a place to ask for good fortune.
To create the interactive component, viewers were invited to participate by selecting a piece of fabric from a basket at the entrance to the museum where the work was first exhibited, subsequently making a wish and placing the fabric in a box adjacent to the artwork. At the end of the exhibition, I added all of the collected strips of fabric to the base structure, thus completing the work.