Mika Negishi Laidlaw

Desire   2015
Slip cast porcelain and gold leaf, 10″ x 9″ x 9″

“My recent work has developed from the ideas of ‘Unconditional Love’ and ‘Memory of Cells’. The work has a lot to do with my relationships to people who are important to me. It has been changing and evolving along with events in my life such as my grandfather’s complex end of his life and my grandmother’s dementia. What motivates me to create my work is highly personal, but I intend to send more universal messages to viewers.

Taking care of small children takes much time and care, yet children of very young ages do not retain memories from this critical period. While we are unable to recall the earliest experiences of our lives, cells that create our flesh, bones, skin and organs, may remember how people who loved us held, rocked, sang and cared for us. I am also very interested in ancestral memories within our bodies. I am interested in ancestral memories within our bodies. During my occasional visits to Japan, I often feel a sensation in my body which is hard to explain in words. I came to wonder if my physical self could recall something beyond the current period I live in; for instance, distant memories from the Jomon period (14000 B.C.~300 B.C.). With my new work based on human hands, I thought of the relay of lives that has been passed on for generations to reach my turn. Processes of modeling hands in various scales, making plaster molds out of prototypes, slip-casting multiple pieces, and assembling them into various compositions, all seem to point to my desire to connection to the ancestral memories.”


-Mika Negishi Laidlaw

Negishi Laidlaw, bio