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Tsutsugaki: Indigo Textiles of Japan at the Guimet, Paris

Japanese folk art was pretty much unappreciated until well into the 20th century, when the emergence of the mingei movement under the leadership of Soetsu Yanagi prompted a re-evaluation of the artistic and cultural worth of the genre, including, eventually, the art of tsutsugaki or indigo resist-dyeing.

The exhibition ‘Tsutsugaki: Japanese Indigo-dyed Textiles’ at the National Museum of Asian Arts Guimet in Paris until 10 October 2013, demonstrates the artistry of the tradition, and brings together works taken from the museum’s Krishna Riboud/AEDTA Collection, from a private collection and from Japanese collections, including pieces that have never left the country before.

The resist-dyeing technique used in creating these spectacular tsutsugaki hangings, covers and clothes, which employs a rice paste glue for the resists, reached the peak of artistic expression in the late Edo period (1603-1868). They were commissioned by families to celebrate important events such as births and marriages and contain their own design vocabulary related to both the period and the events being commemorated. A review of the exhibition will appear in HALI 177 but for more information visit www.guimet.fr

Wedding bedspread (futon), Noshi motif (ceremonial knot made of dried abalone strips), Japan, Meiji Era (1868 - 1912), cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 150 x 131 cm, Musee Guimet,

Wedding bedspread (futon), Noshi motif (ceremonial knot made of dried abalone strips), Japan, Meiji Era (1868 – 1912), cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 150 x 131 cm, Musee Guimet, Krishna Riboud verbal bequest, 2003 – MA 11610 (AEDTA 3763)

Bedspreads (futon), Horai Mountain motif, Japan, cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 162.1 x 125.4 cm, Private Collection

Bedspreads (futon), Horai Mountain motif, Japan, cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 162.1 x 125.4 cm, Private Collection

Fabric for the Chinese lion dance, Chinese lion mane motif, Japan, cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 179.6 x 223 cm, Private collection

Fabric for the Chinese lion dance, Chinese lion mane motif, Japan, cotton fabric, tsutsugaki, 179.6 x 223 cm, Private collection

 

Woman's kimono worn as a veil (kazuki), River and Japanese maple leaves motif, Japan, linen fabric, partially stencil-dyed tsutsugaki, 134.6 x 134.1 cm, Private Collection

Woman’s kimono worn as a veil (kazuki), River and Japanese maple leaves motif, Japan, linen fabric, partially stencil-dyed tsutsugaki, 134.6 x 134.1 cm, Private Collection

Bedspread (futon), Treasures motif, Japan, cotton fabric, 188.5 x 155.3 cm, private collection

Bedspread (futon), Treasures motif, Japan, cotton fabric, 188.5 x 155.3 cm, private collection

 

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