Monday, November 03, 2008

Kimono as Art

On Saturday, I went with James and my in-laws to the Itchiku Kubota show at the SDMA. It was truly breathtaking. Kubota's son, Itchiku Kubota II, spoke first about his father. A truly touching fact that he revealed is how this show marked 6 years since his father's passing and that Buddhists celebrate 2 years, 6 years, and 12 years after someone dies. I felt honored that we could be a part of the 6-year marking.

You can view some of the exhibit at this site. And a cool video here. One of the most interesting points of the discussion was learning about Kubota's moment of truth. Although he began studying yuzen (rice-paste resist) dyeing at age 14, six years later when he was 20, he stumbled upon a fragment of elegantly patterned cloth in the Tokyo National Museum. "Trembling in the face of such mastery and refinement of beauty," he relates, he stood transfixed for three hours. "In a sudden moment, I encountered a source of boundless creativity which revealed to me my calling." Oh, would not any of us not relish a happening such as this? To be propeled to do something with such conviction? Another amazing fact was that after he became so inspired it took him another 20 years to perfect the technique and then another 20 years to have his first show.

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