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Report on ‘Binding colours through textiles: Yunoki Samiro’s journey in arts and crafts’

Over two days at the beginning of July we welcomed an outstanding group of scholars and curators to the Institute for a workshop organised by our Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow, Dr Rosanna Rios Perez, marking the passing this year of Samiro Yunoki (1922-2024), one of the key figures in the Mingei movement, who worked closely with Keisuke Serizawa. The programme and abstracts for the workshop are provided here. The intensive discussion was complemented by a number of exhibits which were displayed at 64 The Close during the workshop.

Professor Minako Watanabe and Professor Shizu Ara from Joshibi University kindly provided a video 100 Years of Samiro Yunoki – The Source of Imagination and Education in the Crafts Department of Joshibi University of Art and Design, which was subsequently donated to the Lisa Sainsbury Library. The subtitles in the video were a group effort between the professors mentioned above, who provided the script. Fuyu Simmons and Akira Hirano, our Librarian, collaborated with me on the translation. Professor Toshio Watanabe presented two videos about his mother, Ilse Watanabe, a knitwear designer, that were produced by TV Asahi for the TV programme The Document of a Husband and Wife (夫と妻の記録) dating to c.1961.

Also on display were works and books on Yunoki belonging to Miles Dodd, and an Ultraman textile by Okinawan artist Yuken Teruya belonging to Dr Eriko Tomizawa-Kay. The demonstration by Yoko Kataoka was facilitated by Kevin Freeman, Director of Fashion and Textiles at Norwich University of the Arts. The Sainsbury Institute is most grateful to all of the above, and to everyone who attended the workshop.

Professor Simon Kaner
Executive Director, Sainsbury Institute