Hagino, Toyo

  • untitled
  • untitled
  • Portrait of Toyo Hagino


Toyo Hagino, untitled, 1988, embroidery on cotton, 34,5 x 98 cm, photo : Marie Humair, Atelier de numérisation – Ville de Lausanne, Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne


Hagino, Toyo ,

(1938), Japan


Toyo Hagino (1938) was born in Tokyo, Japan. She was placed, aged eighteen, in an establishment for the mentally handicapped in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. At around fifty years of age she started to make small embroideries in secret, which were discovered by chance by a member of the nursing staff. From then on she was provided with various fabrics, some in very large formats, and thread dyed with indigo, of which she is particularly fond. She allows her imagination free rein and has produced numerous pieces.

Toyo Hagino never makes a rough sketch and takes her needle to the fabric as the mood takes her. Shapes of an abstract nature – circles, squares, triangles, among others – represent concrete elements in her eyes. Here and there one can identify the sun, a fish, bird or flower. While working, she sometimes talks to herself in a low voice, alluding to her mother who taught her to embroider. It seems that these “sewn images” are mingled in her mind with the distant memory of her mother.

Exhibition(s) at the Art Brut Collection