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Indepth Arts News:

"Western Tradition, Eastern Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Quilts"
2003-09-24 until 2003-04-04
Crow Collection of Asian Art
Dallas, TX, USA United States of America

Western Tradition, Eastern Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Quilts features a dozen Japanese quilts made in the last 25 years during the explosion of quilting in Japan. Inspired by traditional American patterns yet infused with the Japanese eastern aesthetic, these quilts take the art of quilting to a new level. The artists are Ishinami Takako, Ouchi Teiko, Obi Setsuko, Takako Onoyama, Shima Michiko, Fujishiro Ikuko, Maeda Sumiko, Maruya Yoneko, Minato Keiko, Yadu Toshiko, Yamagata Toshie and Yawatagaki Mutsuko.

Quilting, which originated in Asia, was taken to Europe by Marco Polo and then brought to America by immigrants. It has since gone back to Japan thanks to the quilt revival that came with the Bicentennial of America. Japanese women who had come to America with their husbands during the '70s were attracted to the art form and took it home with them when their husbands' jobs were completed.

These women had been trained, as all upper class Japanese women are, in eastern aesthetics, which affected their quilting differently than American women raised with western aesthetics. New quilts with new aesthetics were the result. The top prizes in quilting are now often going to this style.

"Throughout this exhibition, one can see traditional American quilt blocks infused with the eastern aesthetic resulting in completely fresh, beautiful and imaginative art," said curator Dr. Marian Ann J. Montgomery.

"It is not as easy as just using Japanese obis, kimonos, or indigo dyed fabric. These quilts, although they incorporate some traditional Japanese fabric do not rely solely on those fabrics for their success"

The exhibition was organized through the assistance of Mrs. Takako Onoyama, who is the owner of Quilt House Yama, the largest quilt shop in Tokyo.

Western Tradition, Eastern Innovation is part of Quilt Mania, a collaborative exhibition of a wide variety of quilts September 2003-March 2004 at 11 Dallas-area cultural institutions. The participating institutions are: The African American Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, Historic Mesquite, Inc., Irving Arts Center, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Old City Park: The Historical Village of Dallas, The Science Place, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, South Dallas Cultural Center, Thanks-Giving Square and The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art. The events sponsors include The Pauline Allen Gill Foundation, Anonymous, The International Quilt Festival, The Art Institute of Dallas, The Quilter's Guild of Dallas, Inc., The Summerlee Foundation, The Rosewood Foundation, Moda Fabrics, Carriage House Quilt Shoppe, Common Threads Quilting, Quilt Country, Quiltmakers, Bernina Sewing Centers of Plano & Dallas, The Quilt Asylum, and The Texas Association of Quilt Guilds. For more information about Quilt Mania, call 214-979-6476 or visit www.quiltmania.org.

The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art contains more than 600 paintings, objects of metal and stone, and large architectural pieces from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Over 300 works are on display in the galleries including precious jade ornaments from China, delicate Japanese scrolls and a rarely seen 28-foot by 12-foot sandstone facade of an 18th century Indian residence.

Ouchi Teiko
Gorgeous Flower Harmony, 2000
Photo by Brad Flowers

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