Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Landscape on Kimono - virtual exhibition part 3

Buildings and Townscapes

(left of centre above) Komon (small pattern) kimono, chirimen (crepe) silk, 1970s

All over stencil-dyed pattern of temple and shrine buildings, in the colourful bingata (Okinawan stencil dyeing) style. The motifs alternate direction, to cope with the kimono’s lack of a shoulder seam, so some are upside down.
The style of motifs is reminiscent of the work of twentieth century printmaker and stencil artist Serizawa. Komon are less formal kimono, as the panels can be taken apart and resewn in a different order to even out wear.

An amazing design, with very intense colours. One of my favourite kinds of design motifs for kimono, rooftops are hard to resist!

Kurotomesode (black formal kimono), chirimen (crepe) silk, 1970s

Modern roketsuzome (wax batik) design depicts an old town in the mountains. The design shows the influence of mid twentieth century Japanese printmakers.

Roketsuzome is quite an unusual techinique for dyeing a tomesode, which usually have more rich and detailed patterns, and often have gold outlining or embroidery. This tomesode somehow doesn't feel "dressy" enough for a wedding guest. Perhaps this would have appealed to someone with more modern tastes when new. I find its simplicity of design very pleasing and a relief from some of the more elaborate tomesode designs.

Nagoya obi (informal obi), shioze (thick habotai) silk, 1930s.

Willow trees and minka farmhouses line a stream, a simpler arrangement of motifs seen in the chayatsuji (tea garden) designs.

The buildings are so similar to the tea houses on the furisode kimono in part 2.

Turn right....

Haori (formal kimono coat), silk, 1980s

Komon (small pattern) can have larger motifs. The pattern shows minka (farmhouses) and roofed wells in an abstract style.

Komon (small pattern) kimono, synthetic chirimen (crepe), 1970s

An abstract design of a Japanese townscape, with touches of colour. The motifs alternate direction, to cope with the kimono’s lack of a shoulder seam, so some are upside down. Washable synthetic fabrics became popular in the second half of the twentieth century.

This was the most subdued kimono in the whole exhibition, when viewed from a distance. You really need to get up close to see the detail in the fascinating repeat design. Try clicking the detail photo to get a sense of the real life effect!

Komon (small pattern) kimono, chirimen (crepe) silk, 1970s

Eba komon patterns change direction at the shoulder so the design appears the right way up on every part of the kimono. They are slightly more formal than regular komon. The delicate outlines of rooftops creates a fascinating design.

Spot the repeats going across from one sleeve to another - the same rooftops appear at the same level on each of the four panels (two body panels and two sleeves).

Part 4 coming soon!

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