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“Raw Japan” at MUDE, Museum of Design and Fashion in Lisbon, 9 October 2014 – 8 February 2015

October 14, 2014

RawJapan01I’m thrilled that Lisbon’s Museu do Design e da Moda, or MUDE, is presenting “Boro: The Fabric of Life” under the title “Raw Japan.”

RawJapan03This title represents two exhibitions sharing one, large gallery: the boro show along with Naked Shapes, an ingenious exhibition of largely post-war objects made in Japan using repurposed aluminum scraps.

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RawJapan09The two exhibits, each of which was conceived by and debuted at Domaine de Boisbuchet are complementary to each other in so many ways, most essentially in the way that they portray Japanese artistry as pertains the inventive use of recycled materials.

RawJapan10MUDE has named this joint exhibition “Raw Japan” which reinforces the material aspect of the show’s objects as well as suggesting an art brut tone which the textiles, especially, embodies.

RawJapan12The boro textiles are largely from my collection and also represent the generous loans from Kei Kawasaki, Naohito ShikamaAmy Katoh and Anna Heringer.

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RawJapan16MUDE is a restored bank which accounts for so many of the interior’s preserved, luxurious stone materials which provide a stark contrast to the raw treatment of the ceilings and columns.  This interior sets the perfect backdrop for both “Boro: The Fabric of Life” and “Naked Shapes.”

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RawJapan45MUDE plans to publish a catalog on “Raw Japan” which should be available in early November.

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Exhibition Credits

Raw Japan: Boro – The Fabric of Life, Naked Shapes/
Japão a Cru: Boro – O Tecido da Vida, Puras Formas

GENERAL COORDINATION
Bárbara Coutinho

CURATORS
Ayako Kamozawa, Mathias Schwartz-Clauss, Stephen Szczepanek

EXHIBITION DESIGN
Raquel Santos, Luís Saraiva

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Paula Guimarães

PRODUCTION COORDINATION
Vera Brito

CONSERVATION
Anabela Becho, Susana Santos
with the support of Cátia Souto e Sofia Lopes (Fundação Oriente – Museu do Oriente)

COMMUNICATION
Raquel Antunes

PRODUCTION
Cristina Gomes, Celina Trindade, Catarina Cid

LOGISTICS
Pedro Rosa, Pedro Muñoz, Gonçalo Vieira

TEXT TRANSLATION
Isabel Haber

Thanks:

MUDE would like to thank Alexander von Vegesack and
Mathias Schwartz-Clauss from CIRECA / Domaine de Boisbuchet as to all the colectors for the confidance in lending their pieces:  Anna Heringer, Amy Katoh, Kei Kawasaki, Seiji Onishi, Naohito Shikama, Keiichi Sumi, Stephen Szczepanek, Alexander von Vegesack, Nobuhiro Yamaguchi

Copyright:
The Fabric of Life, Naked Shapes were produced by CIRECA / Domaine de Boisbuchet, France

 

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A Resist Dyed Bashofu “Kimono Dress”: Okinawan Banana Fiber Cloth

August 9, 2014

BashofuDress1Cloth from the Ryukyu Islands, or Okinawa as it is now called, is some of the most admired and prized cloth in the Japanese cultural sphere.  Of the several types of traditional textiles produced in Okinawa–Miyako jofu, bingata, hana ori–it is bashofu, or cloth woven from fibers taken from the banana leaf stem, which is the most widely known.

Bashofu shows very distinctive characteristics: it is lightweight, almost translucent and extremely durable, which is why it has been is likened to a dragonfly’s wing.

BashofuDress1aI acquired this piece because I love bashofu, but more so for two separate reasons.

First, the resist dyed pattern on the cloth is unusual and second, and maybe more importantly, this is a hybrid costume: it is a traditional kimono-shaped garment that has been re-worked to become something of a dress.

You can see the machine stitched seams (above) and Western tailoring (also seen above) that would never have been seen in the Ryukyu Islands until the early twentieth century.  The fusion of two distinct cultures captured as they are in this garment is a fascinating comment on Okinawa’s developing history.

BashofuDress1bAnd getting back to bashofu‘s translucency, the photo above attempts to give a sense of this quality.  What else can be seen is the repair to the cloth and the sprinkling of pinprick-sized holes, both evidence that this finished garment had a much different life when it was first created as a kimono-shaped one and was entirely hand stitched.  The age of this garment could easily span from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century.

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