May 7 - 30, 2022
From G Contemporary Gallery:
Born and raised in Japan, Mari Omori is a multimedia artist, educator, and curator with an MFA from UCLA and BA from California State University Northridge. Omori’s awards include Sabbatical Research Grants along with International Exploration and Travel Grants from Lone Star College System, 2018 and 2008. Artist-in-residency experiences include the Babaran Segragunung Culture House, Jogyakarta, Indonesia, 2018; the Mino Culture Art Project, Japan, 2008; and the Palm Beach County Cultural Grant through the Morikami Museum, Florida, 2006.
Other research projects include Pilgrimage, surveying post-earthquake inTohoku, Japan, 2016 and The Past Made Visible, a study of cochineal ink, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2013.
Working in diverse materials such as fiber, bronze, installation, book publication and video, Omori explores concepts of time, identity, and transformation. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Her works are in private and public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the Art Museum of South Texas; the Mino Washi Museum, Japan; and Lone Star College-Kingwood, where she is a professor of Art, a position she has held since 2001.
About The Exhibit
My application for sabbatical research was awarded by the Lone Star College System, 2017, and in 2018 I left for Indonesia to visit museums and historic sites, and to immerse myself in the history and art of Batik making. It was the tail end of the rainy season.
With a camera around my neck, I documented the Indonesian culture while focusing on my artist-hosts, whose lives intertwined with the Batik process of designing, waxing, and dyeing cloth- a process which served them as a spiritual path of enlightenment. The images in the show represent only a handful of my experiments in Batik during the two month’s residency at the Babaran Segaragunung Culture House, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Prior to my departure to Indonesia, I scripted an idea of a video which is now available to view: A Day with Ismoyo and Nia, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaY3hEY9cb8
The year 2019 marked the 70th year of diplomatic relations between the US and Indonesia. To commemorate the occasion, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Houston under the directorship by Ambassador Dr. Nana Yuliana published a book, US-Indonesia Relations in Words, A Collection of Articles. I was one of the invited contributors to the publication. pp 17 – 21 (see display)
Indonesian Batik represents such high standards for the craft, that it has been designated as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, 2009.
I hope viewers can connect with the nature, rhythm and process of Batik making and leave with a greater appreciation and understanding of the craft.
I am grateful for this opportunity to share my life changing Indonesian experience of the art of Batik with the greater Houston community.
Thanks to Wayne Gilbert for his trust in me, and for inviting my humble works for display in such a beautiful space; Cristy Jadick, for introducing my works to the gallery; to Chris Akin for his photographer’s eye, editing, printing photographs, and designing Batiked Life! book (Blurb.com) in 2021. (see display): and Kris Larson for assistance in layout and installation of my works for the show.”
Reception: May 7, 2022 | 6–8 pm
223 East 11th Street
Houston, 77008 Texas
Hello Mari! I had to check up on you after all these years to see how you were doing and apparently you are doing really well! I find your batik work in Indonesia really interesting and would love to check out more of it. I don’t know if you recall that we lived in Singapore for 3 years and I’m very familiar with batik. I miss you, my friend. I must confess I haven’t painted in quite a while but I told myself I would start again this year. I wish I was still in Kingwood. I would still be taking classes with you. All the best. Your student and friend. Karen Aszman
Hello Karen! What a lovely note! I still remember you and your paintings, my friend. Not in Kingwood I read. Believe or not, I am still teaching full time at the same college, now Lone Star College-Kingwood. 🙂 My website is currently down for redesigning. Hope staying in touch! -Mari