Gallery Nishikawa represents many wonderful textile artists (including Misao Iwamura) and has a gallery space where they showcase individual artists on a regular basis. When we visited on Friday, September 24th, they were showing beautiful leather bags that were exquisitely crafted and very architectural in design. The gallery is located in the Maronie Building, 2F, 332 Shioya-cho, Kawara-machi Shijo Agaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto. There is another gallery in the same building, on the 3rd and the 4th floor, called Gallery Maronie. A hike up the stairs is definitely rewarding!
A couple of days later we visited Gallery Gallery in the Kotobuki Building, 5F, Kawaramachi, Shijo-sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto and saw an installation of large, handwoven transparent tapestries by Yui Inoue. It's difficult to capture these translucent weavings on my little camera, but here are some photos of the work.
|Yui Inoue transparent weaving, detail|
|Several transparent weavings hung together in this small space|
One of my favorite galleries was Gallery Kei on Teramachi street, a couple of blocks south of the Imperial Palace Park. The owner (whose name I unfortunately didn't get) was there when I visited and is very knowledgeable about old Japanese textiles. As she explained, one of her goals is to educate Japanese people about the beauty and cultural value of these old textiles. I was especially drawn to the 19th and early 20th century working class clothing made from recycled textiles by people living in poor, rural fishing and farming villages. The spirit of these garments-- worn until threadbare and patched repeatedly with bits of salvaged fabric-- reminded me so much of the quilts of Gees Bend .