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Hako #5

1981 Kay Sekimachi Born: San Francisco, California 1926 woven, folded and pressed linen with straight pins and painted bamboo skewer 6 1/8 x 8 x 7 3/4 in. (15.6 x 20.3 x 19.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters: Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg and Fanny Melmon Liberman © 1981, Kay Sekimachi 1998.122.20 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

Kay Sekimachi started making small woven boxes in the late 1970s for an exhibition of miniature textiles in England. She first makes a paper model of each box to see how the folds work and if the shape can stand on its own. In Hako #5 and Ikat Box (see 2003.25), she created cubes from natural linen and added detail with black thread and paint. The precise creases and rigid structure evoke origami, the art of folding paper into different shapes, which Sekimachi “just grew up knowing” in her Japanese American home. These elegant boxes also recall Japanese architecture, which focuses on creating peaceful tiny spaces within hectic city environments, and may symbolize Sekimachi’s desire for a private space of her own.


decorative arts

Crafts - Fiber

fabric - linen


About Kay Sekimachi

Born: San Francisco, California 1926

More works in the collection by
Kay Sekimachi