Tag Archives: Amuse Museum

Japan D2.7: Boro

Here is the next instalment about my trip to Japan in November, it’s so cool having you along with me as I retrace my steps ……

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I first came across Boro on Pinterest a few months before I left for Japan, and became quite fascinated by it. The Amuse Museum in Tokyo has a very good exhibition of Boro itemsB2

Old work clothes patched and repatched, darned and redarned do carry a beauty and a story. B5

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The hardship of the poorest of the past seems to have been romanticised and the more I found out about it the more uncomfortable I became. These pieces of cloth and clothing now change hands for thousands of pounds in stylish galleries around the world. They seem to  have become yet another expression of modern acquisitiveness, and exploitation. Click the link to this article on the website Design Sleuth to see how interior design stylists have been fuelling this fairly recent craze.

There is undoubtedly a beauty to these pieces, but when people are prepared to spend extraordinary amounts of money to own old rags, it has a touch of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ about it for me.

We now live in an era where there is a drive to constantly buy new things to be IN FASHION. Electrical goods have ‘inbuilt obsolescence’ and we are given the impression that the only way for our economy to survive is to get more people spending more in the shops, buying more and more things. This is a path of self-destruct for our species, so if patching and preserving comes back into fashion, I’m all for it, however I fear the Boro-craze has nothing to do with that! I do hope we humans WAKE UP before it is too late.

As a farmer myself I used to patch and mend and darn work clothes and kids clothes and still patch my own clothes. I grew up in an era when we did not waste things, we valued, preserved and upcycled as a matter of course. I like the idea of ‘mottainai’53

which in this context, I was told, means : ‘too good to waste’.

I’m looking at darning and patching my clothes in a more decorative way – I guess this ‘look’ might be called Boho (Boho is the new Hippy).

The thought of patching and darning some old clothes and pieces of cloth of mine into a piece of textile art full of history, story and memory, also appeals. Boro to me is an inspiration to use up old bits of textiles that I can not bear to throw away and create something intriguing, with it – ideas are bubbling ….

…. I will let you know when they come to the boil!

Whist searching for inspiration and via the wonder that is Pinterest (I’m more than a bit addicted to Pinterest – yo might have noticed!), I have just come across a Japanese modern textile artist Junko Oki. I would like to have seen more modern textile artists like this whilst in Japan – next time!

Would you like to see my Boro-esque Pinterest page? just click on the link to visit. I will be collecting pictures there as a reference for a future textile piece inspired by Boro

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PS. the painting arrived yesterday – EEEEEEEEK! So exciting to hold the Panda in Platforms and Hare in High Heels in my hand, I nearly kissed the postman! – uh oh! My own acquisitiveness shining through here! The irony is not lost on me – that it should arrive whilst I was putting this post together! Ha!

I will take pictures of the painting and share them with you when the weather cheers up and the light improves – I LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Japan. Day Two 5: Crazy Cats and a Hare in High Heels

……I am so enjoying sharing with you my trip to Japan, here’s the next instalment ……

If you have only just joined in you can read previous posts by clicking on these links:

First evening in Japan ringing the bell

Day Two: 1    Bonsai ,     Day Two: 2     3/5/7 ceremony,  Day Two: 3   shopping,   Day Two: 4   Craft Centre

After the Craft Centre we were back in the coach seeing the imposing modern architecture go byJ1

till we got to the  Amuse Museum

There were many wonderful displays in this Museum, but the exhibition that captured my attention was one of whacky, glitzy, fun paintings by Kaneda Hanaki. I just LOVE them.J5

I didn’t quite know what to think of them at first, I don’t usually go for paintings with animalsJ15

but those grumpy cats got me and wouldn’t let me go!J13

I’m so glad I took so many photosJ6 because the more I look at themJ7 the more I like them – they are funJ9

and ridiculousJ8

and funnyJ10

and crazyJ12

and I felt a little uncomfortable at the time taking all those photos without buying something, but back then I had not really got to the point of loving them enough to take that step. Going through the photos again now, I realise how they have stayed with me and might well inspire some textile work in the future.

This is the one I particularly likeJ11There is something about a hare in high heels! And it is so obviously Japanese as they are both wearing kimonos, and then there is the glitter! Oh I do SO love it.

Writing this post inspired me to email the Museum and ask if this one is still for sale. They got back to me and it is!!!!!

They have spoken to the artist and she will send it to me – I’m very excited! And I am so pleased to be supporting this fabulously talented artist. I’m hoping they will send me some information about her and her work. I’d really like to know the stories behind the paintings.