One of Japan’s most respected textile artists was in Honolulu last week to finalize arrangements for his 2012 art shows, his first in Hawaii. Akihiko Izukura of Kyoto, whose family has worked with textiles for more than 400 years, will present his first Hawaii shows in January and February, 2012. He has previously shown in New York, England and Santa Fe, as well as Japan.
His Honolulu shows will be held in, and outside of, the U.H. Manoa Art Gallery and in, and outside of, The Academy Art Center at Linekona.
These shows are not to be missed. Izukura-san is renowned not only for his wearable art, created with entirely natural dyes and innovative weaving techniques, but for his spectacular art installations. Working with natural fibers, mainly silk, he creates amazing sculptures and wearable art.
In addition to his two shows, Izukura-san will also be presenting workshops at both U.H. Manoa and the Art Academy at Linekona. His work is so eclectic and encompassing that he will be working with three departments at U.H.: textile arts, sculpture and fashion design.
I am hoping he will also present one of his fascinating “Dyeing and Weaving Ceremonies,” called Senshoku-do. If he does, don’t miss it! I was honored to take part in one of these ceremonies in Kyoto in 2004 when I joined the “Textile Nomads” of the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery for a textile tour of Japan. The ceremony is based on the concept of the Japanese tea ceremony but Izukura-san utilizes ancient techniques of spinning, dyeing and weaving handed down from his ancestors. I learned so much from him about natural plant-based dyes and how they react with various forms of silk.
In addition to the ancient ways, Izukura-san has become an acknowledged expert in new ways of treating silk. From the silk worms to the final garments, innovations occur thoughout his work. For example, when we met for drinks at House Without a Key at the Halekulani last week, he was wearing a suit of his own design. Subtle and elegant, he explained he had developed the unusual silk himself; the warp was raw silk and the weft a more refined silk. This may not mean much to you if you are not a weaver, but it is a unique approach to weaving natural silks together.
I will of course be blogging more about Izukura-san and his upcoming shows in the coming months. Stay tuned right here!
– Paula Rath