Retired wardrobe from New York City Opera, stainless steel rings, monofilament and hardware.
120h x 72w x 72d inches
The heart-breaking tale of the genteel geisha Cio-Cio-San, known as Butterfly, and her love for the American naval officer B. F. Pinkerton poignantly depicts the tragic consequences of cultural misunderstandings. Here, the garment has been manipulated with hundreds of tension-lines to symbolically transform Cio-Cio San’s suicide into an alternate vision of flight, an escape from her dramatic circumstances. Translucent monofilaments pull the ceremonial garment into a shape reminiscent of a rocket ship blasting off the Earth. The silver-threaded cranes (symbols of luck in Japanese culture) have been sliced out of the garment and appear to be flying away, their wings lifting the robe upward toward the heavens. Through the center of the kimono, a flock of naval epaulets and gold buttons signifying Cio-Cio San’s beloved Captain Pinkerton shoot like meteorites through her body, lifting her up and away to freedom from earthly concern.