May 21, 2012

Amuse Museum: BORO Exhibition

My interest in Japanese textiles started from boro cloth I saw at my neighbour's home in Bangkok thirty years ago. It was an amazing piece of boro cloth that held the history of the maker and the users for generations. My Japanese neighbour told me that it belonged to her family for as long as she could remember. Having traveled to Japan in the last few years I have now seen more boro cloths in various shops, museums and private collections of friends. Of course I haven't owned one myself. I have one started and it is still a work in progress. You can read about it here. On my recent visit to Japan I was very fortunate to visit a boro exhibition of Chuzaburo Tanaka's collection at the Amuse Museum,  Asakusa, Tokyo. It's an exhibition you can touch, photograph, and try on the boro clothes. We thoroughly loved it. And here are the photos I took to share with you. Enjoy...

Tabi boots (toe boots)

boro futon cover

boro quilt with cotton padding

Sakiori rug (rag rug)

boro curtain still in good condition

boro kimono jacket

Cynthia was trying on boro jacket

Cynthia was showing the back

Museum shop which has fantastic blue collections

Here is a boro vest I started since my return. I'm using vintage kimono fabric I brought back and some of the indigo fabric I dyed during the tour. I used an old vest I found at an op-shop that was perfect for the job. I have started putting some stitching on it now. Click to enlarge and see a close-up of the stitching. I used Instagram app on my iPad/iPhone to take the photos to give me the aged look!

Three books of boro collections from my very own Japanese library. I'm so lucky to have access to many Japanese books about culture, textiles, history, art and crafts. I can also request books that I'm interested in. I have put an order for books on kumihimo. Apart from Japanese collections, I also have a Korean collection at my library too. I have lately been interested in bojagi. I enjoy working at my library. I usually bring piles of books home in the weekends. Even though I can't always read everyone of them, I'm happy just to have them with me. Lis also posted about her visit to Amuse Museum so do visit her blog. 

I think I only have enough photos for one more post on Japan. It's shopping in Japan. Sadly I didn't do very well on that one. Not a lot of opportunity and time, but I do have a few things to show you. 

Till next time


Marydon said...

This is very interesting Nat. Will be anxious to see your vest. The Japanese culture is quite intriguing to me ... you are fortunate to be able to visit the country & see first hand.

Have a great day ~

deanna7trees said...

all so interesting and wonderful to see. your vest is fabulous.

Nedra said...

You must have been in heaven to visit such a wonderful museum. Thank you for sharing pictues and history with us.

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

Very interesting, Nat. I do enjoy reading about your trips.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Nat those curtains look pretty cool...Cynthia looks great and your vest will bey lovely...very 'you'!

Parsley said...

I loved reading this and learning.

Lis said...

Your boro vest is coming along really well Nat, I'm looking forward to a picture of you wearing it. The museum was brilliant wasn't it, I shall go again next time I go to Japan. My blog posts on Japan have been interrupted by Malta but I think I only have one or two posts left too! Shame. Hugs to you.

blandina (aracne) said...

I love seeing yours and other memebrs' post about things we did together, also because usually each one of us is posting different pictures according to what she found interesting, like in this occasion. I love you vest, what a great idea, I might copy it!

Jacky said...

Nat I have been catching up on your posts....your trip looks and sounds AMAZING. I cant wait to catch up and hear all about it in person.

Your boro'd vest is coming along beautifully. I need to do some catching up on that workshop with Jude too...havent even decided on a piece to boro. But the workshop is always there for me to refer to later.

I hope you are having a lovely and creative weekend.

Jacky xox

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