Yamamba / 山姥

Yamamba in kimono on beachThe Yamamba, or the mountain hag, is a character that’s been with Midori since 1998. The crone archetype exists in every culture.  She’s a complex and often ambivalent entity.

When the Yamamba passes, will you see her? Will you meet her gaze? She seeks and seeps into the psyche of those who will not see her. There she makes new dreams. Yamamba ( 山姥 ) lives in the dusky edge of the primordial forest, on the fringe of civilization’s subconscious.

She is loosely related to the folklore and theatrical figure in Japan of the “wild woman” or crone.

Perhaps she is just a old woman living alone. Perhaps she possesses powers to see what we cannot. Perhaps she is just mad. Perhaps she is not human but of the animist spirits.

Yamamba lives in the dusky edge of the primordial, on the fringe of civilization’s subconscious.

She is mute but full of expression and life. She laughs and carries on. At time she sits still, listening. She gathers, makes and gives. Flowers bloom out of fish carcass and mud becomes jewels. You may find her on her beggar’s mat with an alms bowl, or you may come across her making odd things of beauty.

Yamaba in red light with ball of yarn Yamamba in kimono on beach Yamaba outside at night Smiling seated Yamamba Seated Yamaba Seated Yamamba with suspended woman Seated Yamamba with suspended woman Yamamba in lobby Midori in installation with suspended dolls Midori in installation with suspended dolls