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After my mother’s death, I acquired a collection of journals I had kept when I was a teenager – volumes of daily handwritten documentation that had been stored away at my parents’ home. At the same time, I also acquired hundreds of cards and letters handwritten to my mother during the last several decades of her life – letters she had replied to with hundreds of handwritten letters of her own.

Instead of corresponding in long hand, most of us now choose to communicate more efficiently by e-mail or cell phone text messages that can be deleted in an instant and are rarely saved. As my own calendars, address books and notes increasingly take on digital form, my handwriting appears on fewer pieces of paper. Decades from now when my home is cleared out, there will be few, if any, handwritten letters to uncover.

 My collages are made primarily of pages from those journals and letters that neither my mother nor I could discard, as well as paper ephemera from day-to-day life – whatever I happen to find that contains handwriting. Regardless of the content they carry, handwritten text is a unique, personal mark of the maker that I value more as it becomes harder to come by. Torn into small bits to obscure their content, the handwriting yet remains visible and preserved.

Photos this page by Richard Nicol except as noted. Please click on each thumbnail photograph below to view the piece up close.

Rabbit Dream 1 (and detail, 2011)
16" x 12"
Acrylic, watercolor and paper on canvas
Rabbit Dream 2 (and detail, 2011)
12" x 16"
Acrylic, watercolor and paper on canvas
(private collection)
Loss of Symmetry 1 (2011)
12" x 16"
Acrylic and paper on canvas

My mother, who appreciated esthetic symmetry and balance, always used to say that she had a “perfect family” because it consisted of two sons and two daughters. “Loss of Symmetry” is a series made after my sister’s death in April 2011.
Loss of Symmetry 2 (2011)
12" x 9"
Acrylic and paper on canvas

My mother, who appreciated esthetic symmetry and balance, always used to say that she had a “perfect family” because it consisted of two sons and two daughters. “Loss of Symmetry” is a series made after my sister’s death in April 2011.
Loss of Symmetry 3 (2011)
Quadriptych, 8" x 8" each
Acrylic and paper on canvas

My mother, who appreciated esthetic symmetry and balance, always used to say that she had a “perfect family” because it consisted of two sons and two daughters. “Loss of Symmetry” is a series made after my sister’s death in April 2011.
Shadow Leaf  (2011)
16" x 20"
Acrylic, watercolor and paper on canvas
Sun Reach (and detail, 2011)
Diptych, 8" x 8" each
Acrylic, watercolor and paper on canvas
Flora (and detail, 2011)
Diptych, 8" x 8" each
Acrylic, watercolor and paper on canvas
  1938 (and detail, 2010)
Triptych, 8" H x 8" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
Landscape (2010)
10" H x 20" W
Acrylic, watercolor, paper on canvas
(private collection)
  Moonrise (and detail, 2010)
Triptych, 10" H x 8" W each
Acrylic, watercolor, paper on canvas
(private collection)
  Circles (and detail, 2010)
Quadriptych, 8" H x 10" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
(private collection)
Window (2010)
Quadriptych, 4" H x 4" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
Grove (2010)
14" H x 18" W
Acrylic, paper on canvas
Release (2010)
16" H x 12" W
Acrylic, paper on canvas
  Bilingual (and detail, 2010)
Diptych, 20" H x 10" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
  All Foggy Weird (and detail, 2010)
Diptych, 20" H x 10" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
You Do Forgive (2010)
Diptych, 16" H x 8" W each
Acrylic, paper on canvas
My 50th Year (2009)
24" H x 60" W x 1 1/2" D
Acrylic, paper, glass beads on canvas
(photo by Greg Mullin)

“My 50th Year” is made of 366 pieces of beadwork I wove, one per day, beginning on the day after my 49th birthday and completed on the day I turned 50. In addition to beads, the other primary material used in this piece are pages of daily journals I kept when I was a teenager. The piece is an expression of how we incrementally age and grow each day over the course of our lives.

Handwork (2008)
10" H x 8" W x 1" D
Acrylic, paper on canvas
(photo by Greg Mullin)
Ivy (and detail, 2008)
8" H x 8" W x 1 1/2" D
Acrylic, paper, glass beads on wood panel
(photos by Greg Mullin)

e-mail: tina@tinakoyama.com

All content copyright© Tina Koyama, 2013.