MintFace is a sucker for single digit rarities...and doubly so when it enables the filtering of traits we're less familiar with. That's the kind of artistic style we're exploring today through the carved artwork of Dom Baker.
Before we explore traits, let's learn a little more about her genesis collection Tondo Geisha.
'It was something about their mysterious yet elegant poses that drew me in... One painting of a Geisha led to another and before I knew it that's all I wanted to paint! Never quite perfecting the last and always looking to make the next better.' says Dom.
Japanese steel chisels are used to carve the intricate detailings according to Dom. The feathers of the cloak shown, are called 'korowai' in Aotearoa. Throughout the collection there are motifs with indigenous meaning throughout. 'kōwhaiwhai' is the word for Māori motif and can be seen on tukutuku panels, flowers, hair highlights, weaving, taaniko patterns, and bird feathers. This form of carving or etching, suggests a connection to the Māori art form of whakairo (carving).
The beauty of art by legit indigenous artists is we all become richer through the sharing of their culture. 'But MintFace, isn't Sakura Japanese?' Ah yess... back to the traits.
The symbolism of Dom Baker's work draws on both Māori and Japanese culture because she is blessed with heritage from both cultures. She calls it 'Japanese X Māori culture Geisha' and so the work draws on both.
"I love Aotearoa/New Zealand, and my carved paintings aim to exhibit elements of the heritage and cultures that shape me as a New Zealander. My pieces can be recognised as art works belonging to Aotearoa, that embody a wairua or 'feeling' from the Pacific. My art reflects a connection to Asia, as can be seen in the idealised geisha and samurai warrior. But more importantly, my artwork aims to exhibit my journey of identity through Māori art and culture."
Tūi and Geisha is my favourite for its lightness, its balance of cultures and of course... the traits!!
The last carved geisha is being carved as you read this, after five years of thematic exploration.
Carved Geisha are available on OpenSea as are the Tondo Geisha Collection.
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