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A Visit to Gallery Kei in Kyoto

Written on March 23, 2012

Each time I visit Kyoto I schedule a lot of time at Gallery Kei.  Kei Kawasaki’s gallery, located in the heart of the city, is rich in beautiful Japanese country textiles–and Kei and I had the pleasure of mounting a joint exhibition, “Mottainai: The Fabric of Life” at the Portland Japanese Garden last November.Kei’s aesthetic guides her to collect rural cloth which show the warmth of human wear.  At Gallery Kei there is a wide breadth of hand made Japanese cloth, and her special interest in in bast fiber weaving, or cloth made from hemp, ramie, linden, wisteria, paper mulberry, banana stem fiber, elm an the like.Above is woven bast fiber cloth dyed in benibana or safflower.I’ll be in Japan for about one more week and I’m hoping to continue some good conversation with Kei during his time, and discuss our mutual passion for Japanese rural textiles.



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  1. Comment by caro:

    Can’t tell you how envious I am of your frequent trips to Japan. At least you post wonderful photos for us to enjoy. Peeks into the textures and oddments that aren’t really available in travel books. Thanks.

    March 23, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

  2. Comment by velma:

    safflower dyes so beautifully, the piece is lovely.

    March 23, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  3. Comment by Peter:

    I love Gallery Kei. It’s a spectacularly warm and welcome place and the textiles are incredible. Can’t wait to go back in Autumn. Send my warmest regards to Kei.

    March 23, 2012 @ 9:55 pm