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Art Diary

Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics

15 May 2020

While museums around the world are shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibition openings will be replaced by a selection of digital initiatives providing virtual access to art and culture.

Boro, a type of Japanese textile, originated in the 19th century among peasants who used patchwork to extend the lives of worn garments. An exhibition at Japan Society Gallery in New York, which opened in early March, presented 50 historic examples from the Tohoku region of Japan – all drawn from the collection of the late anthropologist Chuzaburo Tanaka – alongside pieces by contemporary designers that display the influence of boro on today’s trends, particularly in the field of sustainable fashion. Since the show is closed, the gallery has produced a series of videos introducing viewers to the practice of boro via the textiles in the exhibition, combining technical information about the materials used (primarily hemp) with more personal contributions from artists and designers featured in the show. Visit the Japan Society website to watch the video tour.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Tabi (split-toed socks)

Tabi (split-toed socks). Photo: Kyoichi Tsuzuki; courtesy Amuse Museum, Chuzaburo Tanaka Collection

Tapestry 3 (2017), Susan Cianciolo.

Tapestry 3 (2017), Susan Cianciolo. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, NYC

Installation view of ‘Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics’ at Japan Society Gallery, New York, 2020.

Installation view of ‘Boro Textiles: Sustainable Aesthetics’ at Japan Society Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: © Richard P. Goodbody; courtesy Japan Society Gallery

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