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Events

Workshop: Binding Colours through Textiles: Yunoki Samiro’s Journey in Arts and Crafts

Hybrid Workshop - Sainsbury Institute

月曜日 1 7月, 2024 - 火曜日 2 7月, 2024

During the postwar period, the Mingei movement endeavoured to cross national boundaries, and its members achieved this by promoting an international outreach of the folk craft ideal, through travelling exhibitions and lectures in various localities. Meanwhile, in Japan, it was a time characterised by the proliferation of handicraft groups whose members were mainly women, employing diverse techniques to create clothes for their family members. It was also a period when local artisans and “Living National Treasures” created their crafts apparently under different premises.

Yunoki Samiro (1922~2024), who joined the Mingei group at the end of the 1940s, earned a position in folk crafts by creating textile pieces that moved from a colourful palette to monochrome compositions during his lifetime. He is known in Japan as a pupil of the Living National Treasure, Serizawa Keisuke (1895~1984). From 1967, Yunoki travelled extensively to places including India, Spain, France, and Greece. These regions inspired him to reach a colour palette beyond Japan and motivated him to question his process as a dye artist. Thereafter, in the 1980s, he departed from Mingei and, for 24 years, explored various printmaking techniques such as monotype, lithography, and even carborundum. Then, in 2007, aged 85, Yunoki began a new series of abstract dye works in a restricted colour palette that he continued until recent years.

During his time as a professor and president of the Joshibi University of Art and Design from 1950 to 1991, one of the women’s universities that from 1900 encouraged “independence of women through art,” he contributed to teaching a significant number of alumni by introducing them to the katazome and chusen dyeing techniques; the former still practised in Japan, whereas the latter is less known.

How has Yunoki’s work and knowledge in the dyeing medium influenced a growing number of women creating textiles? How can we begin to untangle the backdrop of postwar Japan in the diversity of handicraft groups and textile practitioners from this period?  In this workshop, we will begin by exploring Mingei’s traits in its transnational contexts, to grasp how Mingei has emerged in other localities outside of Japan. We will then examine the postwar period of textile production in Japan, followed by a discussion on Yunoki’s developments as a dye artist, including his exploration of the printmaking medium and finally cover his most recent creations characterised by large, abstract, and monochrome textile pieces.

Programme

Monday 1 July, 13.30 – 17.00

Panel 1: Transnational Mingei: Exchange and Influences from Other Localities 

13:30 – 13:40: Opening Remarks
Rosanna Rios Perez, Sainsbury Institute

“‘Decolonial’ and ‘Trans-’ Approaches to the Mingei Movement”
Yuko Kikuchi (Head of Academic Programmes, V&A and Tutor, V&A/RCA History of Design Course)

“Iterations of Mingei in Brazil: the role of Japanese immigrant artist-craftspeople”
Liliana Morais (Rikkyo University)

“Art Without Heroes: Mingei at the William Morris Gallery
Roisin Inglesby (Curator, William Morris Gallery)

——–Short break——

“Pictorializing Okinawa: Serizawa Keisuke’s gaze on Okinawan culture”
Ana Trujillo Dennis (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

“Resilience in Dye: Unraveling Colonial Narratives Through Bingata Kimono”
Eriko Tomizawa-Kay (University of East Anglia)

CHAIR: Simon Kaner, Executive Director, Sainsbury Institute

Tuesday 2 July, 9.30 – 12:00

Panel 2: Textiles in Japan: Handicraft Groups and Diffusion of Dyeing Techniques

“Ilse Watanabe and the knitwear boom in post-war Japan”
Toshio Watanabe (Sainsbury Institute)

“From Mingei to Studio Weaver: MUNEHIRO Rikizo’s Cultivation of Ikat Kasuri Technique and Life.”
Tomo Yoshizawa (Researcher and Cultural Translator)

——–Short break——

“Addressing the possibilities of katanori and katagami by comparing katazome in Japan and China”
Ko Shingen (Lecturer,Tokyo Kasei Gakuin University)

Katazome: Economic viability of the craft and continuity of the tradition”
Maria Santamaria Hergueta (International Christian University)

CHAIR: Eriko Tomizawa-Kay, Lecturer in Japanese Language and Culture, University of East Anglia

13:30 – 17:00

Panel 3:  Yunoki Samiro’s Journey in Arts and Crafts

“The Spirit of Samiro Yunoki’s Creation: Enjoying the challenges of a creative process”
Minako Watanabe (Joshibi University of Art and Design)

“Dressmaking Fabric Transformed into Freely Floating Textiles: Yunoki’s Leap into the Arts”
Rosanna Rios Perez (Sainsbury Institute)

——–Short break——

“Grassroot Activities with Yunoki Samiro”
Tadamoto Oshima (IDÉE Director and Planner)

“Yunoki-sensei: Recollections of a warm friendship”
Miles Dodd (Nihon University)

CHAIR: Rosanna Rios Perez, Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow

– General discussion –

DOWNLOAD THE ABSTRATCTS HERE


This hybrid workshop is organised by Dr Rosanna Rios Perez, a Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow. The event is open to public via online participation. Please sign up using the Zoom link below. Note that in-person participation is by invitation only.

Image: © Norio Kidera. Samiro Yunoki―The Emblem of Life, Setagaya Art Museum, 2 May – 18 August 2013

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