Posts Tagged 'Japanese'

47 textiles today

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Photos from 47 textiles today.

One week left! It’s your very last chance to catch this exhibition at Hikarie in Shibuya. Presented by D&Department project, this exhibition showcases textiles from across 47 prefectures in Japan. Link represents the prefecture of Kanagawa, where Link furoshiki are hand-printed. What a great idea, and it is a great privilege to be included!

47 textiles today

Start : 21st, November 2013

Close : 2nd, February 2014
Opening time : 11:00〜20:00
Address : 8F 2-21-1 Shibuya Shibuyaku Tokyo 〒150-8510

Update … Link


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It’s February 2013 already, and this blog has been so neglected!

There’s been a lot of activity amongst the Link collective since I last wrote. 2012 has been busy! We saw the introduction of Link’s popular leather carry strap (designed and handmade by director Kyoko), some beautiful work from a new collaborator in London, Hannah Waldron, who also presented with Kyoko at PechaKucha Night in Tokyo. A fresh collection of new furoshiki designs and colours, and some really great photos from photographer Martin Holtkamp.  An interview with Link’s printers was published online by spoon-tamago in July, giving a rare look behind the scenes. To end the year, Winter colours were released and Kyoko flew to New York where she ran a small Link furoshiki workshop.

2013 is already underway, keep your eye’s peeled for more …

Wrap yourselves up in love.

Link furoshiki are still for sale at Plastica, Etsy and Loopto.

Tokyo Project 01

Today I begin posting a series of photographs taken during my time living in Tokyo between 2001-2007.

As I walked around the city I was endlessly inspired by the many day-to-day things I encountered. I don’t find I have the same experience living in Los Angeles. That’s somewhat due to the driving culture here (I no longer walk from place to place) but of course predominantly it comes down to the difference in society.

The things I found and shot in Tokyo were not what one would immediately think of being ‘typically Japanese’, however there is a certain underlying subtlety and aesthetic in the functional that I have yet to discover here in L.A.. When I first arrived in Tokyo I became paralyzed by the abundance of visual stimulation. After a while though, I couldn’t stop taking photos! A few years later, I was seeing on a different level again, and the subjects I photographed were a little less usual.

With a desire to rediscover my observations once again, here begins ‘Tokyo Project’.

+81 jinbei

Take a look at +81. Keiko made this really lovely tiny jinbei for her new born daughter using some space-to-think fabric. It makes me so happy to see this fabric being so beautifully used. I can’t wait to see it being worn … more pictures to come!

Tenugui

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I’m immersed in thoughts of Japan …all this talk about furoshiki, dreaming of friends in Tokyo while I sleep, and wishing I was there right now for a week of Tokyo summer with my husband on his business trip … I miss it. Still.

It’s been almost two years since we left and seems like a lifetime ago. I must get back there some time, before it just becomes a figment of my imagination!

While we were living in Tokyo I fell in love with tenugui – a short length of printed cotton 33cm x 90cm. The name ‘tenugui’ indicates ‘that for wiping hands’, however it was originally used as a towel when taking a bath, or for covering the head like a scarf. Similar to the versatile furoshiki, tenugui can be used in multiple ways – used to wipe your brow on a humid day, as a kitchen towel, for wrapping, given as a gift, tied as a bandana, used as a handkerchief, or even ripped up into bandages (the edges are left unfinished). Tenugui are still used in everyday life in Japan – on the heads or around the necks of workmen, or in festivals, given as thank you gifts or handed out as promotional pieces for businesses. The uses are endless.

The printed patterns on tenugui immediately seduced me and were the main inspiration behind my initial interest in printed textiles. I’ve always loved the everyday object, the random or not so random array of overlooked details that surround us. When Japans Edo Period (1603-1868) saw the development of popular culture, fine designs based on features of everyday life were created in abundance. Graphic designs depict useful objects, kitchen tools, animals, even grains of rice! Some are simply geometric patterns.

Recently new, more cost effective digital techniques are being used for printing tenugui, but the traditional form of printing tenugui still remains, requiring skilled workmanship. The traditional technique results in a design that beautifully carries through the fabric, so the design appears on both sides.

I collected many tenugui while I was living in Japan. I couldn’t resist them! And of course now is the season for tenugui; during the hot and humid days and summer festivals, you can find different designs in abundance!

Here I’d like to share a few Tenugui that I particularly like from my collection. Some I use regularly, some are kept unused.

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tenugui_animals01

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Soon, to follow on, I’ll post some material from my experience on a course in Tokyo
printing some tenugui in the traditional way.

Furoshiki design

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space-to-think was commissioned by Samsonite Japan to design a limited edition novelty ‘furoshiki’* (90 x 90 cm traditional wrapping cloth) to be presented alongside the launch of their new line of limited edition Cabin Size suitcases launched in May.

Using three colours on chirimen (traditional Japanese crepe cloth), we wanted the design to compliment and add a little burst of colour to the Cabin Size suitcase range (beige, apricot, brown) – something a little retro and fun, that would appeal to customers of a 30-60 year old age group.

As Samsonite is all about travel, it seemed obvious to me that the idea behind this furoshiki design would be ‘movement’. Keeping in mind the multi-purpose function of furoshiki, an important aspect of the design was to create something that worked as a beautiful pattern when folded, but when the furoshiki was spread out in full, the image worked in it’s entirety. By using repeated shapes and patterns rushing across the fabric, I wanted to create a sense of movement and direction in the imagery. In addition to that, the swallow being a true traveler – fast, agile and migratory – leant itself perfectly to the overall concept. See some sketches for the project here.

I was very excited to be invited to work on this project, especially as I have a passion for traditional Japanese textiles … and it was very enjoyable to have the opportunity to work with Kyoko, at Samsonite in Tokyo. I look forward to future creative collaborations!

* Furoshiki
The Japanese Ministry of the Environment promotes the use of furoshiki as an eco friendly, alternative way to wrap gifts and to carry things around. The name ‘furoshiki’ translates as ‘bath spread’ as it was once most used for wrapping people’s clothes at the Public Bath houses. They are also used for bundling up or gift-wrapping all sorts of things from lunch boxes or books, to watermelons and bottles of wine!


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