Ethereal fabric sculptures look like colorful corals and sea creatures

Boston-based Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto creates ethereal fabric sculptures

Boston-based artist Mariko Kusumoto creates clusters of delicate sculptures that look like they’ve just been plucked from the ocean. Her underwater gardens are made with a combination of different fabrics, and she likes to create playful montages that spark the viewer’s imagination.

Kusumoto uses polyester, nylon, and cotton in a range of colors to make delicate figures that resemble corals and sea creatures. As a result, these fabric sculptures appear delicate to the touch and translucent to the light.

“My work reflects various observable phenomena that stimulate my mind and my senses,” Kusumoto explains on his website. “I ‘reshuffle’ them into a new presentation that can be described as surreal, funny, humorous or unexpected.”

The scope of his works ranges from individual figures to arrangements of multiple fabric sculptures. In the case of the larger works, they capture the essence of a coral reef: bursting with color and various organic shapes.

“A playful and joyful atmosphere pervades my work,” he adds. “I always like to leave some space for the imagination; I hope that viewers will experience a sense of discovery, surprise and wonder through my work.”

You can see Kusumoto’s art in person at an upcoming exhibition at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden in Delray Beach, Florida, in November 2022. Keep up with her latest projects by following her on Instagram.