Poria cocos and the painter's daughter
Hanna Saito
09/12/2022 - 11/12/2022

3-13-7 Kyojima, Sumida City, Tokyo. 131-0046
Open: 12.00 - 19.00 pm
In the Edo period in Japan, where women had very limited rights and freedoms, the daughter of Hokusai, Katsushika Oi, who was a painter herself, was surrey limited in showing her full artistic potential. However, she was definitely a woman beyond her times with a rebel-like personality. She enjoyed smoking and drinking, and did not care if her house was trashed or dirty, which was outstanding for a woman of her times. Perhaps that is why she was able to make a name for herself as a painter. It is also said that she drank "Poria cocos" a Chinese herb made from the sclerotium of a pine root parasitic mushroom, Wolfiporia cocos Ryvarden et Gilbertson, every day with the aim of becoming a Nyosen (女仙, a female version of a being who is originally human, but has attained immortality and eternal youth through ascetic practice and training in Chinese Legends). During the Edo period, the belief in Nyosen was popular. Was Ōi herself also influenced by such a thought, and longed for the transcendent, unworldly existence of Nyosen?

For December Kisuiiki show artist Hanna Saito will explore ideas connected with witchcraft, medicinal herbs, immortality, and multispecies ethnography in the context of modern femininity. 


Video interview:
Exhibition photos:
Photo Credits: Maciej Komorowski
About the artist:
現代美術作家。1988生。多摩美術大学工芸学科ガラスコースを卒業後、metaPhorest (biological/biomedia art platform)に参加し、バイオアート領域での活動を開始。現在は東京大学大学院学際情報学府博士課程に在籍(筧康明研究室)。理化学ガラスの制作技法によるガラス造形や、生物、有機物、画像解析等を用いて作品を制作しつつ、研究も行っている。近年では複数種の野生の粘菌を採取、培養し、研究と制作に用いている。主なテーマは、自然/社会、人間/非人間の区分を再考すること、表現者と表現対象の不可分性。 
Workshop with the Artist!
Participants will make their own herbal medicine tea for themselves to transform themselves into the being they wish to be by combining Chinese herbs, including Poria cocos, obtained from a Chinese herbal medicine shop in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, and herbs from the ancient and modern world. Hanna Saito will work with participants to consider what kind of being they wish to transform into.
Date: 10 DEC 2022 (sat)
Time: 11.00 - 12.00
- workshop capacity - 6 people 
- registration required
- fee - 1000 yen (paid at the venue)
- 定員:6名 
- 要予約
参加費 - 1000円(当日会場にてお支払いください。)
主催:ONA project room、「隅田川 森羅万象 墨に夢」実行委員会
協賛:株式会社東京鋲兼、 東武鉄道株式会社
※ 「隅田川 森羅万象 墨に夢」実行委員会 事務局は(公財)墨田区文化振興財団が担っています。
Back to Top