TATSUYUKI KITAOKA: BODY AND MIND
Washi Paper in Ino, Kochi Prefecture
"My body moves, before my brain thinks. I could even draw paper with closed eyes."
Tatsuyuki-san’s grandmother is the reason he came back to Kochi. He wanted to do something with his hands and at that time a lot of people were making paper here. He thought he knew what it meant to make paper and to feel paper in his hands, but at the Institute he learned uncountable ways of making, conserving, and preserving paper.
I realized what paper is all about – the experience of touch and feel.
To observe Tatsuyuki-san drawing paper spread an atmosphere of quietness and satisfaction. Every handle seems to be perfect; he even closes his eyes sometimes. His teacher told him: in paper you have to fail. Trying and failing is the job. So he fails. "When I make 200 sheets per day, maybe 50 will be perfect." Perfection? It means that everything fits together. Perfection for an artist means to reach their imagination, but perfection for a craftsman means to reach the costumers wishes.
When Tatsuyuki-san talks about paper, his voice is full of respect. He doesn't know everything about it and he doesn't need to. To be creative as a paper maker means to be able to move forward. "Creativity is thinking ahead, but when you think too much, your body will not move. My body moves, before my brains thinks."
Where do you find beauty in your work?
All paper makers start from the same data, the same material, but each paper will be different in the end. Not very diverse, but you can feel the small variety. We can imitate the way we think, but not the way our body moves. It will always make a difference.
Tatsuyuki-san smiles a lot. He is thoughtful, instead of explaining, what he means, he rather shows it. 'Motshi-motshi' he calls it, when too much fiber is on the edge of the paper. The liquid has to be equally distributed over the whole sieve, otherwise it will not dry evenly, it will change the feeling and the sound and will destroy the perfect look of the paper.
I will be always in the middle between the raw material and the final paper. I need to add the beauty to it.
You can make paper all over the world and create a new shape out of the wood. In paper you will see the very nature of the country where it comes from.
Ino, Kochi Prefecture