Akemi Maegawa

I made Cradle to Grave thinking about life and death, yin and yang, beginning and end. Cradle to Grave consists of four pairs of iconic Volkswagen buses, a symbol of the hippie era when I was born. Each pair consists of a fabric sculpture and a ceramic sculpture. The soft fabric Volkswagen is made like a baby's toy for a newborn; the ceramic Volkswagen sculpture is an actual urn for keeping the ashes of a dead person.

I think Western culture over-encourages staying young or looking young and not appreciating natural aging. People are too afraid of getting old and dying, and they even avoid thinking or talking about death. However, life and death coexist, and I believe that getting old is a very natural thing and that we all should embrace it as a positive thing.

I wanted to use the playful image of a Volkswagen bus to celebrate two stages of life-both at the beginning and the end-with joy. It must be nice to rest in an urn, and it reminds me how my life started. Nevertheless, before getting there, I hope to find many more paths and interesting things in life while naturally and gracefully getting old.