ARKO’s sculptures use rice straw, a by-product of the rice plant. It previously played a signiﬁcant role in everyday Japanese life and was used to make items such as shoes, coats, blankets and food wrappers. Now its main use is for the production of traditional straw festoons, which are holy ornaments for Shinto New Year ceremonies. It has almost faded out from modern life, despite large volumes of rice crop still being produced for food consumption. ARKO’s practice aims to reinvigorate the material by creating something new with it, to inspire feelings of natural providence, which is often overlooked in today’s digital and commercially-oriented society.
ARKO has exhibited extensively in Japan and in international group shows such as Changing Attitude, Tokyo (2019); Loewe Baskets, Milan (2019); Object come from the earth, Tokyo (2018); Say No To Limits, Beijing (2007). In 2018, she was shortlisted for the Loewe Craft Prize, and exhibited at the Design Museum, London.