Originally from Shizuoka, Japan, Terumi Saito is a textile artist and designer based in New York. Growing up in a traditional Japanese farmer’s household informed Saito’s focus on creating mixed-media sculpture with iconic jute ropes. Her ropes are inspired by the sacred, Japanese twisted rope, shimenawa, which symbolizes a boundary that separates the realm of the gods from the world and prevents impurities from entering the shrines.
Using traditional and ancient methods of backstrap weaving, which she learned from masters in Peru and Guatemala, Saito creates sculpture that represents a form of protection. The labor-intensive process of backstrap weaving stimulates her ideas and joy, resulting in a powerful body of work. Her goal is not only to preserve these traditional techniques but also to shed light on the declining traditions from a new perspective and revive them by proposing a hybrid contemporary craft/art, a work that moves between contemporary art and traditional crafts.
Saito received a BFA in graphic design from Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, and an MFA in textiles from Parsons School of Design in New York. Her work has been exhibited at art venues such as Mana Contemporary, Spectrum Miami (Miami Art Week), Art Expo New York, New York Textile Month, Portland Textile Month, Heimtextil Germany, and the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, and featured in publications like Harper’s Bazaar UK, Interior Design magazine, and Surface Design Journal.
To learn more about Terumi Saito’s work, visit https://www.terumisaito.com/