Thursday, March 1, 2012

March pleasure

Welcome to March. I have a small treasure to share with you today.
Takeshi Nishijima (1929-2003) was a professor of art at Kyoto University and a graphic and textile designer who exhibited in numerous one man shows and won the coveted Grand Prize at the Kyoto Art Exhibit. He was associated with Haruo Kuriyama of the Wazome Kogei company, which was probably the publisher of his katazome calendars. Kuriyama was also a friend of Keisuke Serizawa, the best known katazome artist, who produced calendars annually beginning in 1946.
The larger folio calendars of both Serizawa and Nishijima were katazome on paper, like my work on fabric. The smaller calendars were wood block or silkscreened from the same designs. I have three little Nishijima calendars from the 1970s, bought at a small gift shop in Corvallis, plus many Serizawa mini calendars and a few folios bought used. After Serizawa died the calendars continued to be made from his designs. The Nishijima calendars were only made for a few years. I love Nishijima’s imagery and would adore finding a folio someday.
The Kuriyama workshop is the very same one I spent several days in when I was in Japan in 2010, the one remaining katazome textile production workshop in Kyoto. What a privilege for me to have been there.