Hawaii Japanese Center Exhibition Celebrates Japanese Craftsmanship

Hawaii Japanese Center Exhibition Celebrates Japanese Craftsmanship

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The Hawaii Japanese Center in Hilo will host the exhibition, “Handcrafted Form: Traditions and Techniques,” featuring handcrafted objects from Japan. The exhibition, which runs from May 23 to June 27, is open to the public.

A brief welcoming ceremony will open the exhibit at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. It will be followed by a special presentation by three master artisans from Kyöto — Tamae Ueda, a specialist in yuzen (rice-paste dyeing), Shicen Kodama, who specializes in tsuzure ori (weaving) and Kazuyo Kawamoto, whose specialty is shibori (tie-dying). Each artist will give a short lecture and show their work. Kawamoto will also present a demonstration of shibori.

Beginning Tuesday, May 26, gallery hours will be Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A series of public programs featuring outstanding local artists will be held during this period. The featured artists are Clayton Amemiya (ceramics) on May 30, Glenn Yamanoha (woodblock) on June 6 and a two-day, hands-on workshop led by Ann Asakura (“new wave” kimono) on June 20 and 21.

“Handcrafted Form” is a project of the Japan Foundation and focuses on Japanese crafts made from traditional materials using traditional techniques that were developed and used in daily life. Each of these pieces has been officially designated as “traditional craft objects” by the government of Japan. In addition to these practical crafts, the exhibition also includes examples of creative works made by artisans using skills fostered within the environment of Japan’s traditional workshops.

In all, the exhibition includes nearly 100 pieces from seven categories: ceramics, textiles, metalwork, lacquerware, wood and bamboo, glass, and paper and stationery selected from workshops all over Japan. Renowned critic and art historian Kazuko Todate curated the exhibit. “Handcrafted Form” has attracted glowing reviews as it travels to art galleries and museums around the world. The Hawaii Japanese Center will be its only showing in Hawai‘i, following a showing in Seattle. From Hilo, it travels Santiago, Chile.

Consul General of Japan Toyoei Shigeeda is coordinating the Hawai‘i showing as well as arranging for the visit by the three master artisans. The Japan Foundation funded the production of the exhibit and its travel.

The not-for-profit Hawaii Japanese Center is located at 751 Kanoelehua Ave. in Hilo. Admission to “Handcrafted Form” is free, although donations are welcome. For more information, email contact@hawaiijapanesecenter.com or call (808) 934-9611 Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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