Yolanda Sánchez
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[1]) 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.