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Mottainai: The Fabric of Life at the Portland Japanese Garden 4-27 November

Written on October 29, 2011

I’m really pleased to say that the Portland Japanese Garden has asked my close friend and colleague, Kei Kawasaki of Gallery Kei in Kyoto, and me, to mount an exhibition which will run through November.The show, called “Mottainai: The Fabric of Life, Lessons in Frugality from Traditional Japan,” opens on 4 November and is on view until 27 November.Both Kei and I are planning to show some of the highlights from our collections and we will be exhibiting some extraordinary and rare pieces.  In order to illustrate the breadth of traditional Japanese textiles Kei will be showing bast fiber textiles: wisteria, linden, hemp, ramie, paper, paper mulberry, etc., and I will be showing cotton boro textiles.  I’ll be exhibiting a range of types, from everyday utilitarian textiles to large, complex garments.The images here are details of some of my pieces which will be in the show.We’ll both be in Portland this coming week setting up the show: I’m really looking forward to it.  Kei has produced a beautifully illustrated catalog for the show for which both she and I have contributed essays.  I’ll let you know when it is available.I will be updating the webshop as per usual this Wednesday at 11 AM New York time.  *As I’ll be in Portland until 5 November, any order placed from 30 October through 5 November will be shipped on Monday, 7 November.*If I’m able to do so, this coming week I’ll blog some images from the set-up at the Garden.  Stay tuned….


Comments closed

  1. Comment by rosemary:

    oh, my. very intriguing. i wish i could attend!

    October 30, 2011 @ 2:18 am

  2. Comment by sally jo:

    i will be there at the exhibition along with my daughter – can hardly wait! portland is a beautiful city and i hope the rain gods cooperate. the collection that you are bringing looks wonderful!

    October 31, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

  3. Comment by Paige:

    Really fantastic photos. I love aizome and Japanese textiles in general.

    October 31, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  4. Comment by mieke harinck:

    are there now stille people who know how to spin with wisteria and kudzu vines? i have been spinning flax, hemp, nettle. it would be nice to experiment with these other fibers.
    mieke, belgium

    November 1, 2011 @ 8:08 am

  5. Comment by Anastasia Macdonald:

    I would love to get my hands on the exhibit catalog! I’ve met Kei in Kyoto, and she really has a passion and energy to finding these pieces. Could you please email me when it becomes available?

    November 2, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  6. Comment by wendy:

    This is such great news; the notion of mottainai is so powerful, as evidenced by the cloth you show here. Wonderful. And, a catalogue- the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

    November 2, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

  7. Comment by Edric Ong:

    I am so glad to have discovered your website today.
    It is so impressive and has so many items that are special and beautiful.
    I met Kei in her Kyoto gallery several years ago and bought 2 farmer’s jackets from her which are among my favourites in my textile collection!

    January 21, 2012 @ 2:48 am