DILIGENCE AND ELEGANCE: THE NATURE OF JAPANESE TEXTILES
Natalia Nekrassova and Susan Warner Keene
Textile Museum of Canada
148 pp col. ill. 8.5 x 8.5 in softcover
$29.95 Can. $34.95 U.S.
Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles presents over 50 textiles and garments from the Textile Museum of Canada’s collection of 19th and 20th century artifacts made in Japan for both everyday and occasional use. Luxurious silk and gold fabrics produced in Kyoto’s professional weaving workshops are juxtaposed with domestic indigo-dyed cotton, plant-fibre cloth, and silk kimonos crafted in an astonishing spectrum of time-honoured techniques - weaving, dyeing, hand painting, gold foil application and embroidery - that exemplify venerable social and cultural values. The authors discuss the highly refined skills and materials by which textiles have been constructed and decorated over centuries, and on how diligence and ingenuity have shaped their timeless beauty. The persistence of traditions seen in such rigorously executed textiles has come to embody the heart of Japanese aesthetics. Every material, colour and technique has a story to tell. The publication also features the contemporary work of Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, two Japanese-Canadians whose consummate craftsmanship and philosophies are profoundly connected to the evolution of Japanese textile traditions of spinning, dyeing and weaving. Their internationally renowned artistic achievements are testimony to the ethics of labour associated with a lifelong investment of time, practice and precision; they position living traditions as opportunities for personal reflection and the acknowledgement of the significance of collective human accomplishments.
Natalia Nekrassova is curator of Collections and Research at the Textile Museum of Canada. Susan Warner Keene is a Toronto-based artist working in handmade paper who has been exhibiting in Canada and internationally since 1980.