Art of the Kimono: Japanese Signs, Symbols and Stories
Lecturer: Suzanne Perrin
Location: DESY Building 03, rooms BAH1/BAH2, see attached map
Of all the many fascinating arts and crafts made in Japan, perhaps the most exciting are those of textiles. We trace the Art of the Kimono from the many layered robes of court dress, through changing styles that encompassed intricate and bold design that wove signs, symbols and stories into the fabrics that people wore during the Edo period from the early 1600s to the mid-1900s.
From courtesans to theatre costumes, daily wear and special occasions, wearing Kimono advertised one's wealth, rank and status at every level of society. We explore the hidden codes of dress formality, the awareness of seasons, the historical stories and layered patterns depicted in the colourful and complex materials used for Kimono.
Specialised craftsmen and women are still using traditional and modern methods to produce the complex patterns in Nishijin weaving, or Yuzen dyeing, and many other ways of decorating the fine silk used for Kimono.
Suzanne is a Visiting Lecturer at University of Brighton Art & Design School, and University of Cape Town, South Africa. She teaches on the Asian Arts course at the British Museum and the V&A and founded Japan Interlink in 1995 to promote the understanding of Japan in educational and cultural circles. She studied Nihonga (traditional Japanese painting) at Nagoya University of Arts, Japan, 1986-87. She lectures in South Africa each year and conducted guided tours of Japan for students and adult groups.
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