The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Mari Omori

Received July 30, 2011
Born Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan;
lives in Spring, Texas

Figure 53. Mari Omori, Sundial, 2007

Tea stain, teabag, pin on cork board, 50" × 50" × 2"

Courtesy of the artist

Photograph: Chris Akin

Q The tea bags in many of your works are an obvious bow to your Japanese ancestry. What other Japanese influences come into play? Are aspects of your work distinctly American, even Texan?

A During the early eighties, the period of my undergraduate and graduate studies, I wanted to be an American artist. Looking back, it was perhaps my desire to assimilate and blend into America. Relocating to Houston in 1992 prompted a moment of reflection, and I began looking at things from two cultural perspectives: not as Japanese, not as American, but both.

I looked into aspects of my daily life as a Japanese American and found that the tradition of tea-drinking created unique structure to my work. Tea rituals at the core come from the Japanese tea ceremony. The offering and receiving of tea between the host and the guest is an art form as well as a nice bonding experience. For example,

I often serve tea at the final critique for my students at the college where I teach, as a way to celebrate the end of the semester and to wish each student health and success in life.

My work tends to be fragile and temporal. It may derive from wabi sabi, the idea that nothing is permanent and that all things must pass. I often find that true beauty lies in imperfection and in small, insignificant things; these are the types of materials used in my work. As an artist, I want to tap into the material’s undiscovered nature as a way to explore its unknown aspects.

My mother is another Japanese influence on my work. She was always making something with her hands and was skilled in embroidery, sewing, dress-making, and leather crafts. I, however, intentionally make imperfect or incomplete pieces. Most likely this comes from a combination of my mother’s influence and the concept of wabi sabi.

-129-

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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