Sunday, May 22, 2011

Contemporary Japanese Fiber Art

    Japan's aesthetic conceptions, deriving from diverse cultural traditions, have been formative in the production of unique art forms. Over the centuries a wide range of artistic motifs developed and were refined, becoming imbued with symbolic significance. Like a pearl they acquired many layers of meaning and a high luster. Japanese aesthetics provide a key to understanding artistic works perceivably different from those coming from Western traditions. Nowadays Japanese modern art takes as many forms and expresses as many different ideas as modern art in general, worldwide.

Yuria Harada  “Blood Grown”                  Detail   

Noriyo Ogawa                             “ Herbarium”

Ken Kagajo

    Quite often, Japanese Fiber Art is an exercise in simplicity, with an emphasis on natural materials, rough and untrimmed, and an affinity for beauty achieved by accident Many artists do continue to work in the traditional manner, some artists stick to the traditional modes, some doing it with a modern flair, and some choose Western or brand new modes, styles, and media. Their works range from ethereal silk and hemp to paper pulp and synthetic fiber using methods that are sometimes deeply traditional, but sometimes employ the latest technology along with an environmentally conscious "green" ethos. Moving far beyond traditional utility, Japan's textile pioneers fuse past and present to create innovative, beautiful and sometimes challenging works of art.

Michiko Sakuma

Misako Tanaka  “Work 95”                   “Colony”

Shoukoh Kobayashi                                

Shugane Hara

Yuka Osawa

     Contemporary Japanese Fibre Art evolved, throughout Japanese History, into an exquisite art form that subtly conveys their innate sense of elegance and style.  The unique qualities of each piece were achieved through the skills of individual artisans. These labour intensive efforts were reflected through meticulous, time consuming, artistic detail, in addition to the use of wide range of materials and techniques. These incredible textiles reflect an indulgence and desire for luxurious fabrics, blending the evolution of Japanese culture with its history. The results are museum quality, one of a kind and increasingly rare.

Yukako Sorai “Scarabeo”      Mami Idei

Naoe Okamoto

Yasue Shimoshige “Scene V”                   Masao Kusakabe

Takumi Uhio                            Noriko Chioda

Kohrow Kawata “The Bench”                    Takumi Ushio “Shelter”


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Royal de Luxe Marionette Theater

             Royal de Luxe a French mechanical marionette street theater company in Nantes, France has created an incredible production that featured huge marionettes.
      In the past dozen years, they have created a series of spectacular shows involving giant figures as big as 11 or 12 metres high. Shows are simple – the animal or giant arrives in town and lives its life, going about its business for a few days. Extraordinary interactions take place between passers-by and the performance; residents become enchanted with the activities of these miraculous beings and begin to follow their every move. By the end of the performance, huge crowds gather daily to watch the latest episode in the life of the visiting creature. “The Sultan’s Elephant “ is the fifth in the series of giant pieces, the others being “The Giant fell from the sky, “The giant fell from the sky: last trip”, “Back from Africa “ and “Giraffe Hunters.
      "The Sultan’s Elephant" was first performed in Nantes from May 19th to 22nd and in Amiens from June 16th to 19th 2005, on the occasion of the centenary of Jules Verne's death. This production was commissioned by the cities of Nantes and Amiens and has received a special grant from the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
      The director Jean Luc Courcoult founded the company in 1979, and they have performed all over the world ever since.
      The company has visited countries all over Europe as well as Korea, China, Vietnam, Chile and Africa. Some of their most celebrated shows – including “The real history of France”, “Roman photoshoot” and “The Peplum” have been revived many times and performed in front of thousands of spectators.