Terumi Saito is a Japanese artist and designer. She holds a Master's degree in Textiles from Parsons School of Design in New York, where she graduated as part of the program's inaugural cohort in 2020. Saito studied Graphic Design in her Bachelor's degree at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan.
‘Letting go but hold tight’ is a mixed media sculpture that is activated and transformed into wearable art through-composed movement. ‘Letting go’ indicates acceptance and release, ‘Hold Tight’ refers to being a determined person with a strong will. It is inspired by a story of the sacred bird peacock, which was believed to have an ability to eat poisons such as fear and suffering and ease negative energy. Saito chose peacock to convey a message of rebirth and protection through her creation.
The objective of her practice is to raise interest and build awareness of cultural sustainability. She utilizes back-strap weaving, a rudimentary weaving technique in which a set of warp yarns are held in tension between the weaver's body and a stationary pole. The back-strap loom is simply constructed by sticks and yarns. However, operating the loom itself is highly complex, and the weaving process requires extra time and care. In 2019 and 2020, she had the opportunity to learn and practice traditional weaving and natural dyeing techniques with local masters in Peru and Guatemala. Combining techniques from different cultures, she is proposing a contemporary hybrid craft not only to preserve these techniques but also to revive and honour them in a new way. She brings stories and people together through her practice and personal experiences while highlighting the value of cultural sustainability.