131 Bloor Street West (Bay subway station)
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1R1

Found in Translation
Interpreting Elements of Japanese Design

October 13, 2006 - January 19, 2007

Lorraine Pritchard, Judith Fielder, Nieves Carrasco and Marta Dal Farra
Curated by Arlene Gehring

The Japan Foundation, Toronto
131 Bloor Street West, 2nd Floor of the Colonnade

Opening Reception: Friday, October 13, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
RSVP required at 416-966-1600, x500 or [email protected].

Pianist John Ebata will introduce another aspect of the translation process to the exhibit, playing his own compositions that interpret the works of the artist.

Artists' Talk and Panel Discussion: Friday, November 3, 6:30 - 8:30 PM
RSVP required at 416-966-1600, x600 or [email protected]

The integrity of the traditional Japanese design aesthetic, with its techniques and resources, survives permutation and translation with great strength and identity. The clear and compelling components of visual design invite practice. Just as the Japanese artists and craftsmen who are the "natural" heirs of this tradition have practiced through generations, so are craftspeople and artists in other countries and other settings compelled to practice as well. But coming from different cultural contexts, they speak the traditional vocabulary with different accents.

This is a show of work of the second generation. It is not the artists who are nisei; they are all western. Rather, it is the elements of design which have arrived in a new country and are being interpreted in a new context by another generation. Here, four artists working with fibre - paper and textiles - have produced work which is uniquely their own. Some of the work follows tradition quite closely, other gives a looser rendition. Yet, the Japanese influence is clearly identifiable in every piece.

The physical elements of design and the techniques for achieving them are given depth by the accompaniment of more abstract elements and inspirations. Philosophy and religion, landscape and nature, the aesthetic that combines unpredictability and control, a particular resonance with the symbolic, and an appreciation of the beauty in simple materials all contribute to the creative understanding of these artists.

For Lorraine Pritchard, the Japanese paper washi is more than surface; it is integral to her work. Patterning and variation relate to the repetition and irregularity in the Japanese aesthetic. The "written drawings" reflect the importance of gestural line to convey meaning. The layering, folding, and painting strongly allude to textile design.

Weaving all of her own cloth, Judith Fielder then dyes it using shibori techniques. The cloth itself reflects nature in its movement, strength and fragility which respond physically in the dyeing process. Texture and pattern emerge in two and three dimensions, with luminescent shading of blue and white.

While living in Japan, Marta Dal Farra found objects such as pieces of old kimonos, manga comic books and hand-made stationery which inspired these works. Working without preliminary sketches, much like sumi-e, the process was most important. The results are tribute to the objects, the skills of their makers and the culture they represent.

Combining shibori and sashiko, Nieves Carrasco works to create a dialogue between the more spontaneous dyeing and the more controlled stitching. Consisting of smaller modules, each piece contrasts the elements of freedom and containment. The stitched thread brings line, shapes space, and plays colour over the background of the dyed pattern.

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Thurs. until 7:00 PM
Saturday Openings: Oct. 14, Nov. 4, Dec. 2 & Jan. 6, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Closed: Saturdays, Sundays, and for holidays, Dec. 18, 2006 - Jan. 3, 2007

Tani Miki, Program Officer
The Japan Foundation, Toronto
131 Bloor Street West, Suite 213
(416) 966-1600
Email: [email protected]

Official Website: http://www.jftor.org

Added by cwhardwi on October 10, 2006

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