Mottainai 2
Jeanne Heifetz
ink on handmade cotton and wool paper, 31" x 23";  $2,100
Exhibited at Village West in Slow Art Fall 2019

Mottainai is a Japanese admonition against waste. Born of the enforced frugality of poverty - and later of wartime - mottainai is both a practical and ethical commitment to preserve, repair, and reuse. As embodied in repeatedly patched indigo boro textiles, mottainai asserts the inherent dignity and worth - even sacredness - of inanimate objects.

However, mottainai is more than an expression of regret at the misuse of objects; it is equally an exhortation not to waste time. These drawings are not utilitarian work garments or blankets. The labor-intensive process of drawing, although akin to stitching, serves no practical purpose. In the end, does the drive to create beauty for its own sake respect or defy mottainai?

If you are interested in purchasing this work you can do it directly through the artist by contacting Jeanne Heifetz or visit


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