Boro Exhibition from the Amuse Museum, Japan
For the first time, selected ‘boro’ pieces from the Amuse Museum in Japan will be exhibited outside Japan. This is a very special event and a display of these precious works will be seen at the Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra Craft & Quilt Fairs during 2019.
The Amuse Museum in Tokyo closed earlier this year and will relocate and reopen in time for the Tokyo Olympics in August 2020, so it is only during this period of closure that the boro works can travel abroad. The Amuse Museum celebrates traditional Japanese culture and seeks to revive and continue precious ways of life and traditions that are uniquely Japanese.
One of these art forms is boro. Not all of us would be familiar with the term but boro is experiencing somewhat of a renaissance at present. Contemporary fashion designers such as Issey Miyake have been inspired by the pieces from the Amuse Museum and current craftspeople are enjoying creating using the traditional techniques.
Boro is a traditional patchwork style which grew out of a necessity. Because cotton was not common in Japan until well into the 1900s, when a kimono or futon cover wore out in a certain area it was patched with a small piece of scrap fabric using sashiko stitching. This was a common practice in the northern areas where people were poor and the climate was too cold to grow cotton. These textiles would be passed from one generation to the next with each generation adding more patches as required. As Japan modernised and industrialised post World War 2, the boro style faded in popularity and necessity.
Now they are recognised by establishments such as the Amuse Museum as tactile pieces of Japanese history. Make sure you don’t miss your chance to see this very special display.