It all started in 1937, when a young Japanese artist by the name of Itchiku Kubota, strolling through the Tokyo National Museum, glimpsed a fragment of a 16th-century kimono. He was taken with the elaborate mass of textile techniques — painting, drawing, embroidery, dyeing — known as tsujigahana, a lost art in Japan for centuries.
Kubota set about unraveling the secrets of tsujigahana and introduce them in contemporary kimono designs. He was the first to introduce the concept of creating large landscapes strung together out of multiple kimonos, viewable separately or as a series.
A new exhibition at MoMu in Antwerp showcases six of these kimonos from Kubota’s unfinished Symphony of Light series — begun when he was in his seventies — and two kimonos from his Mount Fuji series.
Traditions and Dreams, April 20 – June 19, 2016, MoMu, Antwerp