July 02, 2020

The Kubota Collection’s key works are on display at the Tokyo National Museum

The International Chodiev Foundation is pleased to announce that some of the key pieces of the Kubota Collection will be featured at “Kimono: Fashioning Identities” exhibition, which will open to the public on 30 June 2020 at the Tokyo National Museum.

“Kimono: Fashioning Identities” exhibition traces the kimono from its inception some eight hundred years ago to its role today as a symbol of Japanese culture, with increasing sway on the contemporary fashion scene. Featuring some of the finest extant textiles, paintings, prints, and other artworks drawn from collections in Japan and around the world, the exhibition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consider the past, present and future of this quintessential Japanese garment.

It will be the first large-scale exhibition of kimono based on a comprehensive survey of its history, and the first extensive exhibition of textile at the Tokyo National Museum in 47 years.

The Kubota Collection will present 15 works from Itchiku Kubota’s “Symphony of Light” Collection and one of the master’s individual works, “Gen, Floral Illusion, a Creation of the Spirit of the Cherry Blossom.”

“Symphony of Light” is a central feature of the Kubota Collection. It comprises 36 kimono that are linked compositionally, with the design of seasonal landscapes flowing from one garment to another. This consecutive sequence results in a panoramic display that moves and changes.

Dr Patokh Chodiev, Founder of the International Chodiev Foundation, commented: “We are truly honoured for the works of Itchiku Kubota to form part of this magnificent exhibition. It was exactly here, at the Tokyo National Museum, where young Kubota saw the fragments of the ancient garments created in the tsujigahana technique, and where he decided to dedicate his life to the study and revival of this then-lost dyeing method. It is very symbolic that more than 80 years later we can showcase Itchiku Kubota’s pioneering approach to kimono, created in the revived and modernised Itchiku tsujigahana technique, back where it all started, at the Tokyo National Museum.”

“We are very proud that Itchiku’s creative genius, his willingness to step outside the conventional boundaries of design, his distinctive use of colour and his intense commitment to his craft won him international recognition as one of the most important Japanese textile artists of the 20th century. His radical and transformative concept of the kimono as a work of art can be seen in some of the pieces from his ‘Symphony of Light’ collection, showcased at this exhibition.”

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