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Calendars, A Year’s Worth of Reading

Text: Jun Asami


Everyone knows that in one day there are 24 hours, or 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. Seven repetitions of that makes a week, thirty repetitions of that makes one month, and 365 (or 366) repetitions of that makes a year. The calendar. which helps to make sense of the year by representing our days through the divisions of eating and sleeping, acts as something to be read all throughout an entire year.

Over the past two years, the Amsterdam-based artist Masaki Komoto has been releasing his own calendars—prints of 84 x 60-cm size cross stitches upon which every day from 1 January to 31 December is present. A self-described handicraftsman, each year Komoto works with Yuri Sato, who is also based in Amsterdam, to brainstorm new ideas for their calendars, updating the designs, the format, and even the printing methods. It’s a process that takes up to half of the year.

Needlework samplers—scraps of fabric upon which people practice or make a record of needlework—are at the heart of the design concept. In the past, people, usually mothers or young girls, would practice new techniques on these samplers and leave them as a record of their efforts so that they would not forget them or to use as an example by which to teach others. A common practice was to stitch the place and year that the sampler was completed and this is something that these calendars have retained.

The numbers in the calendars they’ve made so far are all stitched with a gentle gradient in mind, the numbers gradually changing color over the dates and this is delicately recreated on paper which is printed domestically. This aim to do everything domestically, ideally within Amsterdam, is based off the desire to go for themselves to see and touch the product and really get a personal feel for every element. For Komoto, whose art often springs from inspirations in his daily life, this is one project that he wants to always keep part of that same daily life.

Jun Asami
Editor and Writer. Director of the antique shop ‘Goods’, also belongs to Design studio ‘Well’. He has worked on the production and publication of artbooks alongside other artist.

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