Ai Kijima

Japanese, 1970


Ai Kijima’s pop art-inspired works feature cartoon characters collaged into layered quilts, which can be interpreted as both safety blankets and menacing meditations on global culture.

Born in Japan and based in New York, Kijima begins each piece by searching through her extensive trove of textile scraps cut from bed sheets or curtains designed for children. The artist then sews the fabric pieces into kaleidoscopic quilts brimming with energy and visual information.

The collaged images fail to form a linear narrative but rather create a snapshot of juvenilia from different parts of the world. Kijima's arrangements augment existing characteristics of the images, exaggerating the codes of gender, nationality, and violence that are laced into cartoons by their corporate authors.