The influential Cobra artist Shinkichi Tajiri (1923-2009) was a Japanese-American sculptor. Tajiri is mainly known for his 'buttons'. Tajiri was born in the United States. In 1956, Tajiri moved to Amsterdam and a few years later he moved with his family to Limburg. Tajiri lived a large part of his life in Castle Scheres in Baarlo where he died in 2009 at an advanced age.
Tajiri made many works of art in the shape of a knot. As he himself proclaimed:
"I want people to be able to give meaning to my works of art themselves. With my 'knots', I want to make a clear statement, provide immediate communication between work and viewer" and: "The knot is a fascinating form of power, understandable to everyone. It doesn't matter whether I place a knot in Tokyo or in the Brazilian jungle."
Various meanings have been attributed to the knot. For one person it symbolises solidarity, embrace and harmony; for another, it symbolises a difficult situation, a troublesome issue, problem or struggle. For others it stands for a magical symbol or for tension
Baarlo; Village of the Knots
Tajiri knots can be found throughout the Netherlands. In Baarlo, the influences of Tajiri can be seen in various places. There are a number of buttons spread throughout the village. For example at d'Erp Castle and at the end of the main street you can see the Knots of Tajiri.