Katazome Dyeing Artists and the Mingei Movement in Post-war Japan

External event

Monday 25 March, 2024
6:45pm GMT - 8:00pm GMT

The Swedenborg Society
20-21 Bloomsbury Way (Hall entrance on Barter St)
London WC1A 2TH

Free – Booking essential

In 1946, Samiro Yunoki (1922~2024) encountered for the first time a calendar created by Keisuke Serizawa (1895~1984) at the Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki, Okayama prefecture. This encounter marked the beginning of a long-lasting relationship between the two artists, as pupil and mentor, producing works in Japanese katazome (traditional stencil dyeing).

Their activities and involvement in the Mingei movement, led by Sōetsu Yanagi (1889-1961), encouraged a collecting urge that influenced their creative output. Timed to coincide with the exhibition Art Without Heroes: Mingei at the William Morris Gallery (23 March – 22 September 2024), this lecture reviews their mutual developments as textile artists within Mingei and how the act of collecting shaped their work individually.

Rosanna Rios Perez is an artist who specialises in Japanese traditional dyeing techniques katazome and yūzen. After developing these techniques during her Master’s degree at Kyoto Seika University, she focused her PhD research on textile artist Yunoki Samiro (1922~2024), who was mentored by Serizawa Keisuke (1895~1984) and eventually brought him into close contact with the Mingei members.

As a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow (2023-2024) at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures (SISJAC), Rosanna will review the ‘Serizawa books,’ taking particular interest in the Ehon Don Kihōte and Shinpan Don Kihōte, for which she will be working on journal articles. She investigates the visual devices present in both artworks and how technical aspects related to katazome dyeing on paper heralded Serizawa’s widely renowned works on paper. She is centrally interested in how “continuity and change” allowed Serizawa to overcome the technical difficulties experienced during the Second World War period in Japan, including the availability of materials, and encouraged a series of katazome works, such as the calendars.  She will also collect archival resources available only in the UK, examining collections at the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum. She will visit exhibitions and talk to curators about the traits and interrelation between Serizawa’s artistic practice and Mingei’s diffusion in the West.
Official Website

Images: Detail from Yunoki-Narabu hito: Samiro Yunoki, People lined up, birds lined up, 《ならぶ人ならぶ鳥》1983, katazome. Setagaya Art Museum Collection.

If you have any questions, please call The Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email

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