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Kimono on show

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That textile perennial the kimono is blooming again this autumn with two exhibitions devoted to these beautiful garments. Kimono: A Modern History at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will examine the kimono as a "tableau on which to inscribe and describe the effects of modernization on Japan and explore "its capacity to absorb and reflect cultural change". And while Meisen, an exhibition of kimonos and haoris (jackets) from the collection of Haruko Watanabe, may be set on a smaller stage it looks just as interesting. Housed in Nova Scotia College of Art & Design's Anna Leonowens Gallery and organised by faculty member Nancy Price and professor Naoko Furue this display of dazzling pattern is the result of a meeting Naoko had with the collector while in Japan this spring. MeisenKimono3blog_edited-1MeisenKimono1blog_edited-1 As the name suggests the focus is Meisen (pictured here) – a plain weave, hand-printed silk textile made popular between 1910 and 1950 in Japan. As Nancy Price explains the patterns found in the Meisen cloth are bold and abstract. “It was worn in kimono or haori form in everyday life by young women who embodied a new world order, marked by a desire for independence, education, and freedom.” Ms. Watanabe, councilor at the Iwatate Folk Textile Museum in Tokyo, has collected Japanese, Chinese and European antiquities and vintage items since 1995.  Her Meisen collection was also exhibited at L’Aiguille en F’ete in Paris in February this year. We hope a trip to London is next on her list… MeisenKimono2blog Kimono: A Modern History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 27 
September 2014–4 January 2015, www.metmuseum.org Meisen, Anna Leonowens Gallery, 16-27 September 2014, nscad.ca


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