KIMONO. Fukumi and Yoko Shimura I Japonism

19 June 2015 - 6 September 2015

For over 1000 years, the Kimono has been the traditional garment of Japan. The simple and straight cut of the robe with its collar and wide sleeves has barely changed during this time. In Japan today, the Kimono is mostly worn only on special occasions, like weddings or tea ceremonies. Nonetheless, the garment is still an important part of the Japanese identity. The Kimono-artist Fukumi Shimura even calls it the “spiritual shape of the Japanese people”. Fukumi Shimura (born 1924) and her daughter Yoko (born 1949) dedicated their lives to the old art of Kimono making. Their Kimono are handmade out of silk floss and colored with plant dyes. This process results in unique designs with individual, mostly abstract patterns. Fukumi Shimura, whose art is rooted in the Japanese folk art movement, received numerous awards and honors. In 1990, she was proclaimed “Holder of an Intangible Cultural Heritage” (Living National Treasure) for dyeing and weaving Japanese silk. In 2014, she received the prestigious Kyoto-Award. For many artists and designers of the Art Nouveau period, Japanese art was an important source of inspiration. The influence can be seen in the adoption of motifs, elements of style and techniques.

The exhibition presents objects, photographs, paintings and graphic art that reflect this Japonism in order to connect the Kimono by Fukumi and Yoko Shimura with the museum´s collection. By combining Art Nouveau objects and contemporary Japanese textile art, a dialogue is created.

Curator: Dr. Anna Grosskopf
Exhibition design: Katleen Arthen
Advertising motif: Gerwin Schmidt, 2015