Friday, August 10, 2018

Kimono!, The Artistry of Itchiku Kubota - Off the Wall Friday

Symphony of Light, Kubota (5 of a series 80}

So I tend to use my time at Quilting by the Lake as an "Art Holiday" visiting any exhibits that are happening locally.  Well this year, I hit the jack pot!!  The Munson - Proctor -Williams Arts Institute in Utica, NY is hosting an amazing exhibit of the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917-2003).  Kubota is credited with reviving and modernizing the nearly forgotten 400 year old  textile technique of Tsujigahana. 

The exhibit includes 48 nearly 7 foot Kimonos.  Some of stand alone pieces.  Some are series that are meant to be shown together.  There is also part of Kubota's amazing Symphony of Light.  Although only 36 are shown, the complete series consists of 80, yes you read that right, 80 kimonos that represent the grandeur of the universe.  Individually they really are a glory, but together they show the true talent of a master artist.  The 5 that they grouped together from Symphony of Light spanned the width of 27 feet!

The Kimonos are made on silk crepe with a long, labor intensive process of painting, dyeing,
embroidery and embellishing.  The dyeing process is daunting enough, but the hand stitching on the pieces is what creates the texture that brings the pieces alive.

I also bought the book, The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota which I can highly recommend.  The catalog has the right blend of background information and gorgeous photos.  So many times I'm disappointed by an exhibits' book, but this one I can see myself reading over and over.

I promise to do a future post on the actual logistics of the modernized Tsujigahana process, but I thought for today, I would just let you drink in all that is Kubota.

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?


Jenny K. Lyon said...

This is stunning! I never heard of this process nor the artist-what amazing work. I would have loved to see this in person.

quiltedfabricart said...

My jaw dropped at these amazing works of art . So beautiful and unusual. Thank you for sharing. I’ve never heard of her either.

Norma Schlager said...

I saw this exhibit in Japan in his museum devoted entirely to his work. We were on a tour and we were only given an hour there. I could have spent all day. I bought the big heavy $50 book and lugged it around and every once in awhile I will get it out and drool over it.
I am from Utica, but only go back now for funerals. My one remaining first cousin still lives there and was blown away by the exhibit. So I am thinking of driving up fora quick weekend to see the exhibit and my cousin. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

Marianne said...

J'ai eu l'occasion de voir ces kimonos dans son musée au Japon et j'ai trouvé juste merveilleux, on rentrait dans un monde de beauté et de lumière et de calme à ne pas manquer si vous allez une fois au Japon

Nina Marie said...

Norma - I didn't realize you were from Utica! I was brought up north of Rome so our big day out was to go to Utica. I would have loved to see the museum that is dedicated to his work. It amazes me that the Japanese government let a foreigner buy it. Munson Williams Proctor is still free but the exhibit is $12.

Unknown said...

Those kimonos are incredible! Thanks for sharing.