[ Content | Sidebar ]

Archives for April, 2011

The Global Africa Project: Museum of Arts and Design, New York

April 8, 2011

On view until May 15th at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York is The Global Africa Project a sweeping panorama-of-an-exhibition that examines the art and design of the world-wide African diaspora.  Roberta Smith of The New York Times gave the show a glowing review when it opened in December, and having seen the exhibition, I encourage you to go.  It is phenomenal, eye-opening and thought-provoking.Shown here is just one facet of this multi-faceted show, the work of Cameroonian artist, Serge Mouangue, who creates kimonos, or Wafrica kimono as he calls them, from traditional African cotton textiles.Here is Mouangue’s comments on his project: “The Wafrica project is both an expression of who and where I am – it is another perspective gained from a new artistic standpoint. I now reside in Japan, but I am African. I’ve studied in France, lived in Australia, and have been fortunate to travel and connect with varying cultures. These experiences force me to ask myself again and again – from constantly changing angles – not only where we come from, but how we come from. Where do we feel our origins? What are “identity” and “values”?And shown above are two pieced quilts by Ramijabi Madarsahib and Kairumbi Karimsahib, members of the Siddi Women’s Quilting Cooperative in Karnataka, India, who are descended from East Africans who came to India as early as the 7th century as sailors, slaves, servants and merchants.  Quite remarkable.  But keep in mind the examples of artwork I am showing here today are just a mere fraction of the kaleidoscope of treasures on view now at the Museum of Arts and Design.Do try to visit.  And don’t miss The Store, the museum shop, which is one of the most interesting retail destinations in New York.

In: - Comments closed

Hiroko Takeda

April 6, 2011

Today I am showing the work of my good friend, Hiroko Takeda, who is a remarkable textile designer.

Hiroko is an amazing technician and artist: her skills are refined in such a way that she gives life to her inspiration, creating textiles that are innovative, elegant—and completely her own.Hiroko is based in Brooklyn, New York.  She was trained in Japan in the tradition of the Japanese arts and crafts movement (Mingei Undou).  Hiroko has enjoyed a high-powered career as a custom textile designer at Kawashima Textiles in Japan and  as a senior designer for Jack Lenor Larsen in New York.  In 2010, Hiroko went solo and runs her own studio in Brooklyn, where she creates custom designs for the apparel and interiors industries.  Hiroko also designs and fabricates site-specific works for architects and interior designers.Gaze upon some of Hiroko’s creations here.  I think you’ll be impressed–and inspired.

In: - Comments closed

Spring is Pink

April 4, 2011

In Japan, the spring season is synonymous with cherry blossoms, or sakura.   And pink is a color associated with spring.
Sakura are a magnificently elusive color: the cherry blooms are the palest possible shade of pink.  They are a pink that is almost white–and it is this delicacy of color that lends elegance and refinement to an already beautiful flower.When seen in abundance, sakura are spellbinding.  For me, it is the color–that bright, pale, almost-non-color that is, well, pink–which is pure magic.To evoke the color of spring, today I am showing some pieces of benibana or safflower dyed hemp that are placed in a repaired Korean bowl which sits on a lacquer maker’s wooden shelves.The rolled textile in the center of the group is a north eastern Japanese shibori; the two other pieces are very faded fragments that, to me, capture something of the delicacy of the sakura.Spring is here.  Let’s enjoy it.

In: Tags: , , - Comments closed

A Huge and Fabulous Ralli

April 1, 2011

This is an instance where scale is important.   Below is a shot of a huge, exceptionally good Pakistani ralli quilt which I’m trying to show in the context of a room to give a sense of its large size.  You really have to be standing in front of the piece to be  wowed by it, but stay with me.
Shown in these photos is its back: its fantastic, glorious back, a smattering of pale colors, abraded surfaces, soft floral patterns and the rich patina of lots of wear.Again, as I look at the real thing, then compare it to these photos, the impact of scale–which is important to truly appreciate this piece–is lost.  But even in miniature, I think this ralli has a lot to say.

The cloth is very soft from wear.  The colors are very soft, too.  And the arrangement of the colors, patterns and size of the patches is, well–these are the reasons I’m posting images.  I think you see what I see.

This piece measures 82″ x 62″ or 208 cm x 157.5 cm.Finding this rare and beautiful ralli quilt was a thrill.  Now I want to find it the right home.And if you’d like to sign up for my weekly emailing announcing new items posted on our webshop (coming soon–I promise!), please drop me a line at [email protected]

In: Tags: , - Comments closed