Image courtesy of Ogi Folk Museum in Japan
( I have taken this from the York Art Gallery website)
Major Japanese Textile Exhibition Comes to York
October 10, 2009 - January 3, 2010
The first major British exhibition of Japanese Sashiko Textiles is being launched at
The show and subsequent national tour will present traditional and contemporary textiles and garments, designed to decorate and protect the wearer both physically and spiritually.
Entitled Japanese Sashiko Textiles, it sets out to present a sense of time and place in which these works were created.
The exhibition has been selected by textile artist Michele Walker whose research has been facilitated by a three year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship.
It is supported by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, the Arts Council Yorkshire and Renaissance Yorkshire.
Michele says: ‘The objects have been chosen for the stories they tell. My research is taking place at a critical time when the last generation of (now elderly) makers is rapidly drawing to a close together with their traditional way of life and the disappearance of the natural landscape to which they belong.’
The exhibition will investigate two major aspects of Japanese sashiko. The first will look at the lives of women who made and wore sashiko. Until the mid twentieth century it was the traditional method of making work wear in fishing and farming areas throughout
The second aspect will focus on the fact that the physical protection of sashiko garments was reinforced by the spiritual protection thought to be associated with the stitched patterns.
Sometimes these ‘talisman’ took the form of small stitched symbols hidden on the inside of the garment, so as to protect vulnerable parts of the body, for example the neck and back. Or they may take on a more flamboyant character, as seen on the inside of fireman’s garments that picture heroic images applied using tsutsugaki (freehand resist-dyed technique.)
In total around 75 -100 garments and related objects, including videos and significant works from Japanese photographer, IWAYIMA Takeji (1920-1989) will be displayed in the exhibition.
Most of the exhibits are being shown in the
Alongside the historical items are examples of more recent work inspired by sashiko. NUNO Corporation creates innovative textiles that combine traditional aesthetics with the latest technologies. Textile artist TOKUNAGA Miyoko hand stitches one-off fashion garments. She combines sashiko and sakiori techniques and will produce a special collection for this exhibition.
A fully accessible on-line publication including images of works, installation shots and contributions from leading Japanese and British experts, will be created for the exhibition. .
The exhibition will launch at York Art Gallery 10 Oct 2009 – 3 Jan 2010, and will then tour around the
27 February – 11 April 2010 (closed for Easter, 2 - 5 April) Collins Gallery,
8 May – 4 July 2010 Ruthin Craft Centre (to be confirmed)
31 July – 26 September 2010