We had a very interesting talk and showing of kimonos at our local SAQA meeting today. Lorenz Hermsen collects kimono and haori from the early 1900s, concentrating on kimono that was inspired by modern artists. Here is what he says on his website:
The first quarter of the twentieth century, especially the Taisho Era (1912-1926), saw Japan’s interest in Western art and culture increase dramatically. Japan was entering the modern age, and with that came greater ease of travel, a flow of information, women entering the work force, and, for some, a departure from traditional Japanese values.
During this time, kimono remained the mainstay of clothing for women. While their structure did not change, their surface design began to reflect increased contact with the West, as some designers looked to Western art and design for inspiration. These ‘modern’ kimono represent a melding of traditional Japanese sensibilities with new, Western–influenced ideas. They are also valuable as objects of art, as these kimono designers were not mere copiers, but creators of original art synthesizing East and West.
Movements such as Arts and Crafts, Impressionism, the Vienna Secession, Art Nouveau, Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Art Deco and Constructivism are recognizable. Many of the major modern artists are represented, such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Paul Klee, Raoul Dufy, Marc Chagall, and Joan Miró, as well as important textile designers of the era—William Morris, Sonia Delaunay, Ruth Reeves, and others.
I just loved seeing these kimono and the fabrics. I was totally unaware of these textiles and I was mesmerized.
The haori up above was probably inspired by the work of Chagall. Here is a detail:
What blew my mind was how this was done. It is a form of ikat weaving called meisen. Here is what I found on the web regarding meisen:
Meisen was patterned using chemical dyes that were mixed with rice paste and applied through stencils on to warp (vertical) threads woven with temporary weft (horizontal) threads. After application of the dyes, the latter were unravelled and discarded and the true wefts woven in. This was a speeding up of the traditional kasuri (ikat) technique, by which sections of yarn were hand-tied or compressed in certain areas to prevent the colour penetrating when the skein was dipped in the dye bath. The new method produced the characteristic blurred outline of kasuri, but also allowed for the creation of more complex designs, particularly when a system for stencil-printing wefts as well as warps was developed.
This was a lovely indigo kimono:
And a detail of the very modern print.
I loved the colors in this one, that looked art deco to me:
Here are some details of kimono and haori:
This piece was inspired by impressionist trees.
I just loved the wacky orange and black graphic lining in this one.
This was a very modern design done in the old shibori method. The colors were wonderful.
He also brought lots of kimono fabrics to sell.
And even though I fell in love with this one, I did not buy anything. Those who have been around a long time must know how hard that was for me as I used to use a lot of vintage Japanese fabrics in my work.
I am slightly immobile again since by other knee is in lots of pain. It is a week of meetings, High Fiber Diet last night, SAQA today and STASH tomorrow. I delivered my tree quilt to SAQA today. It will probably be traveling for a couple of years.