工作舎
Congratulations to Suzuko Momoyama on winning the Bronze Cube at the ADC Awards!
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Congratulations to Suzuko Momoyama on winning the Bronze Cube at the ADC Awards!

工作舎

Japanese artist Suzuko Momoyama has won the 2022 Bronze Cube in the Illustration category at the ADC 101st Annual Awards for her first book I, CATERPILLAR.
It's amazing that a drawings of a caterpillars could be selected for an international award in the graphic industry!

I, CATERPILLAR, published by Kousakusha, 2021.
Fully bilingual in Japanese and English. Hardcover, 148 pages (128 color pages).

About the ADC Annual Awards
The ADC Annual Awards, part of The One Club for Creativity, is the oldest continuously running industry award show in the world. Now heading into its incredible 101st year, these Awards celebrate the very best in advertising, digital media, graphic and publication design, packaging and product design, motion, experiential and spatial design, photography, illustration and fashion design all with a focus on artistry and craftsmanship.

ADC Awards

Suzuko Momoyama, Painter of Caterpillars

Suzuko Momoyama is an artist who paints insects, mainly caterpillars.
Born in Tokyo, she spent her childhood in the suburbs of New York City. She has been raising insects since her elementary school days. Her starting point for painting was learning to make observation sketches using a microscope in biology class. She aspires to create expressions that freely fly across the boundaries between natural science and art.

I, CATERPILLAR, a Marvel of Observation and Imagination

This is the world's first book of drawings of real caterpillars by Suzuko Momoyama, a painter who is fascinated by them.
Many people dislike caterpillars and they are usually not considered aesthetic objects, but if you zoom in and observe them closely, you will be amazed at the beauty of each and every one of them.
This book explores the splendor of caterpillars through a variety of pictorial approaches.

The book was published in 2021 by the Japanese publisher Kousakusha. Fully bilingual in Japanese and English. Hardcover, 148 pages (128 color pages).
Available at Japanese bookstores and from Amazon Japan.

Why I Love Caterpillars ── Suzuko Momoyama

Because I was born as a woman in Japan, and because I’ve been breeding insects ever since I was a child, I’m sometimes told that I’m "just like The Lady who Loved Insects."
The Lady who Loved Insects is an eccentric princess in a classic Japanese story from the 12th century, and she is also known as one of the models for Hayao Miyazaki’s NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND. Even though she is of marriageable age, she refuses to wear makeup, lets her eyebrows grow bushy, and spends her days raising caterpillars and observing their transformations.

I also prefer caterpillars before they turn into butterflies, and I’m bad at putting on makeup and tend to neglect my eyebrows, so perhaps I am a bit like that princess after all.
"But surely butterflies are prettier!" people often tell me. Of course butterflies are beautiful, but whenever I approach them to investigate their beauty, they fly away, high up into the sky and out of my reach. What I want to do is to hold the butterfly in my hand and take my time to look at its patterns one by one, as if I was reading a book. Mounted specimens that don’t move simply don’t excite me.
But caterpillars are different. They are either crawling slowly along or munching on a leaf, so that I can observe them and draw them at my leisure. And their bodies are decorated with intricate patterns that are different from those on the wings of butterflies.

I sometimes wonder if butterflies aren’t the ghosts of caterpillars, once their lives are over.
Today, the ghosts of caterpillars are fluttering around again. How pretty they are!
In my world, butterflies are Thanatos, the beauty of dreams and visions.
Caterpillars, on the other hand, are Eros, the living, breathing beauty right there in front of my eyes.

Suzuko Momoyama wearing a handmade caterpillar mask at the Gallery House Maya in Tokyo. Her second book was published in 2022.

English translated by Jan Fornell

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