Yuuki Flower

Yuuki means brave, courageous energy.

Yuuki Flower with other art from the Field Trip Project on display in a temporary gallery made from shipping containers in Onagawa temporary housing, Miyagi, Japan.

Yuuki Flower is a textile sculpture by Magda Wojtyra and Marc Ngui. It was created for the Field Trip Project, curated by Daisuke Takeya. Field Trip Project toured extensively in Japan and Canada between 2013 and 2016. This is the project page for our sculpture - visit the Field Trip Project exhibition page for a peek at some of the other several dozen artworks in the exhbition, installations views, and exhibition inspiration and schedule.

The kanji characters for the kind of courage we wanted to invoke, spiritual courage, are a combination of courage and qi (chi). The qi character, on the right, is composed of elements that mean rice exploding like a cloud, or into a cloud formation. The character for courage, on the left, is a combination of explosive strength and tendon. Together they underline courage as rooted in tenacity and exploding with power - explosive strength.

Yuuki Flower Assembly

View the art itself and read stories of project inspiration and the making process.

The sculpture arrives at the display destination disassembled, all the quilted fabric leaves and wire supported bloom in a box together with the backpack and folding support structure. The backpack and the leaves have been fitted with velcro and ribbons and each installation is expected to be a little bit different.

Yuuki Flower Assembly booklet cover
Yuuki Flower Assembly booklet cover

Yuuki flower packed away in the box.
Yuuki Flower packed away in the box.

The backpack assembled on the aluminum poles and ready to receive the first leaves.

People are sometimes shy touching art, so we put together this photographic, step by step instructions booklet to show how to assemble and put away the sculpture. Download the Yuuki Flower Assembly PDF to check it out for yourself.

Showing the velcro attached inside all the compartments and pockets of the backpack.
Photo showing the inside of the backpack - velcro has been attached to the inside of every pocket and compartment.

The student schedule area in the backpack has velcro in it and leaves are attached under the plastic.
Leaves attached with black velcro to the area in the backpack that usually shows the student schedule

A mint and green brocade leaf, a blue leaf, and yellow tentacles are attached at the beginning of an installation of the Yuuki Flower for the Field Trip Project exhibition.
The first leaves and tentacles are attached to the backpack.

The Yuuki Flower sculpture after the leaves are added and the flower head is still off.
The Yuuki Flower after all the leaves are added, just before the flower head goes on.

At the bottom of the box of components is the flower head itself, made of shiny pink silk and with a yellow, waterproof fabric centre.

Velcro and ribbons are used to attach the flower head to the top of the backpack sculpture.
The flower head is attached with velcro and ribbon to the top of the sculpture. The yellow pillow behind the flower keeps the flower in the right position.

The last step is placing the Happy Sleepy flower bud in among the leaves.

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The Field Trip Project

Yuuki Flower was made for the Field Trip Project, a large art exhibition with a humanitarian purpose that toured areas of Japan affected by natural disasters. Read more on the exhibition page, including dates and why Japanase student backpacks were used for the sculptures.

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Pile of pink, red, blue, and black Japanese student backpacks
Pile of pink, red, blue, and black Japanese student backpacks donated to the Japan relief effort and then donated to the Field Trip Project.


Message to Japan

The organizers of the Field Trip Project asked the artists to include a message to the people of Japan along with their artwork:

As we made this artwork we let our hearts break with grief and swell with promise, observing that sadness is a big step beyond anger towards a peaceful place. It takes real courage to be cheerful sometimes, to imagine a future and do all the work to build it, again and again, every day.

When we make art it feels therapeutic, because, similar to meditation, it requires lots of attention, lots of skillful practice, and, ultimately, letting go and getting lost in making results in the best effect. Making an idea into an object or experience in the real world requires bravery and creates confidence, so we made the Yuuki Flower so that other people can also have the experience of making, the satisfaction of building, and the fun of playing.

The centre of the flower and the sprouting bud show the Happy Sleepy character we invented to help us remember our freedom to choose at least an attitude to a life situation, ranging from happily proactive to sleepily accepting. Even that choice can be scary, and sometimes large, explosive amounts of bravery are needed just to get through the day!

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