A Lost Art Revived: Tsujigahana, Itchiku Tsujigahana and Ichiku Kubota — A talk by Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins

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Translated literally as “flowers at the crossroads”, tsujigahana refers to a sophisticated stitched- and tied-resist dyeing technique that was especially popular from the late Muromachi (1338–1573) to early Edo (1603-1868) period. This complicated and time-consuming decorative process was a way of creating magnificent visual imagery and resulted in fabrics that were exceptionally beautiful, very expensive, and highly revered.

In this illustrated talk, Dr Jacqueline M. Atkins, will introduce the history of this very special design technique and expand on its development and subsequent mysterious disappearance around a hundred years after its inception. Dr Atkins’ discussion of Itchiku Tsujigahana, a rejuvenated contemporary version of this ancient art created by kimono artist Itchiku Kubota as he sought to replicate the technique’s elusive beauty, will also focus on Kubota’s documented style and reflect on how his methods encouraged an evolution in the traditional tsujigahana processes for application in the 20th century.

Dr Atkins curated the exhibition Kimono Transformed: The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota that travelled to Moscow and St. Petersburg last year and is now a consultant for the museum in Japan named after the artist. She recently completed The Textile Artistry of Itchiku Kubota, a volume featuring many of the most important kimono designed by Kubota, who died in 2003.

Date: 15 May 2015 from 6.30pm
Venue: The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT

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