Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tokyo Quilt Festival 2013 - Part 2 of 3 - Tomie Nagano "Noragi 2000 Tsugi" exhibit

Hyakku Ryouran, by Tomie Nagano, 1993, detail

One of the highlights of the show was this special exhibit of Tomie Nagano's quilts.  I was happy to revisit the show just to see her quilts a second time.

Tomie was there on the preview morning, and so Ann and I got to spend a few minutes visiting with her.
Hyakku Ryouran, by Tomie Nagano, 1993

Hyakku Ryouran, by Tomie Nagano, 1993, detail

Some of her quilts are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Noragi 1000 tsugi by Tomie Nagano, 1995

 I told her I thought her quilts were so shibui (beautiful in a classic, restrained way);  she said yes... and (I'm paraphrasing) that she was not interested in creating quilts to "shock" or create excitement, but rather to help the viewer feel that the quilts were a part of the very air we breathe.  I loved that idea.

Noragi 1000 tsugi by Tomie Nagano, 1995, detail 

Tomie displayed the backs of some tops - you can see her paper piecing methods.  

Ann, Tomie Nagano, me

Tomie encouraged questions and graciously allowed photographs. 

Kasuri Diamond Flower, by Tomie Nagano, 1995

Tomie became fascinated by indigo dyed "noragi" - worn long ago in Japan by farmers.  Her grandfather left her many examples, and she continued to collect noragi and kimono over the years.
Double Irish Chain, Tomie Nagano

The English translation provided stated "Her main theme is "home town."  Even though they are called "boro" which literally means rag, the beauty of this cloth comes from the passage of time in an exquisite manner."  (Sounds like wabi-sabi to me, for sure).

North Ground II, by Tomie Nagano, 1994