Artist in focus: Liza Dalby

Bay Area resident Liza Dalby is an anthropologist and writer known for her books about Japanese culture, including:

Geisha (based on her fieldwork of joining a geisha community in Kyoto);

Kimono (a cultural history of Japanese fashion);

The Tale of Murasaki (historical novel about the woman who wrote The Tale of Genji);

East Wind Melts the Ice (a memoir); and

Hidden Buddhas (a darkly humorous contemporary novel.)

She has translated the Buddhist nun Setouchi Jakucho’s autobiography Places from Japanese into English(University of Hawaii Press, forthcoming).

In addition, she trained in Japan to learn the art of mounting hanging scrolls. She began using the silk, Japanese paper, and mounter’s paste leftover from working on scrolls to create necklaces and earrings that are large in statement, but weigh next to nothing. 

Sheltering-in-place since mid-March, Liza has been sewing talismanic anti-plague creatures, photographing them, and making them into a deck of playing cards. 

Liza’s website:

33″ necklace “Homage to Ruth Asawa”    $200

necklace “five satellites”                              $75

necklace “wearable potpourri”                  $55