A Virtual Exhibition
Begins November 28
CHISO Co. Ltd, Furisode with Wave and Crane Design, made for Nishimura Tokuko, the fourteenth Madame Nishimura, 1938, yūzen-dyeing and embroidery on woven silk, Collection of CHISO Co. Ltd, © CHISO
We are honored to partner with Chiso, the distinguished Kyoto-based kimono house, on their first ever virtual exhibition of historic and contemporary kimonos from their collection, as an accompaniment to The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design.
Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso highlights the history and exquisite artistry of the prestigious 465-year-old garment maker through the presentation of 14 kimonos from the mid-1600s to 2000s. In addition, a selection of related works—paintings, kimono fragments, and woodblock printed books—from the Chiso art collection reflect the creative collaborations between Chiso and several celebrated Japanese artists since the late 19th century.
Also for the first time, a museum presents the kimono as a contemporary art practice—through the commissioning of WAM's own kimono. The “Worcester Wedding Kimono” highlights motifs inspired by the shared appreciation in Japan and New England for the fall season and brilliant maple leaves. Referencing the city of Worcester's iconic seven hills, the kimono incorporates seven gradations of color as a depiction of seasonal change, as well as seven advanced textile techniques for decoration: barrel tie-dyeing (okedashi shibori), paste-resist dyeing (yūzen), colored flour paste-resist dyeing (iro utsushi itchin yūzen) thread-line paste-resist dyeing (itome yūzen) “snowstorm” wax-resist dyeing (fubuki rōketsuzome) gold leaf, and embroidery (shishū). Some of these techniques are now practiced by only a few remaining artisans. The "Worcester Wedding Kimono" will be shown in the exhibition, The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design, opening at WAM on February 6, 2021.
Kimono Couture gives a rare and up-close look at the intricacy, character, and artistry of kimono design and fabrication in one of Japan's most exclusive kimono houses.
Get a close-up look at some of the techniques used by designers and artisans to create exquisite, one-of-a-kind Chiso kimonos in this short video.
This exhibition is organized by the Worcester Art Museum in partnership with Chiso, the revered 465-year-old kimono design and production house based in Kyoto, Japan. Support is provided by the Fletcher Foundation and Michie Family Curatorial Fund. Research for this project was made possible by the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. Additional support is provided by Emily and James Holdstein, and Sandy Hubbard and Thomas J. Logan.
The exhibition is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank and Imperial Distributors, Inc.
Media Partners: The Boston Globe and WGBH.