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 ……
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 items
Old work clothes patched and repatched, darned and redarned do carry a beauty and a story.
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’
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
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!!!!!!!