MWPAI to illuminate dazzling Kimono exhibition

MWPAI to illuminate dazzling Kimono exhibition

Observer-Dispatch — “Kimono! The Artistry of Itchiku Kubota,” a spectacular exhibition of 48 kimono, will be on view at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute from Sunday, June 10, through Sunday, Sept. 16.

Kimono — once customary Japanese dress — are here transformed into works of art that are a contemporary interpretation of a rich artistic and cultural tradition. MWPAI is the exclusive United States venue for this exhibition, which is accompanied by an illustrated catalog.

Kimono! illuminates the wide-ranging imagination of Itchiku Kubota (Japanese, 1917-2003) who, at age 14, began his textile training. At 20, he saw for the first time a tiny fragment of tsujigahana, a 16th-century Japanese textile decorative technique that incorporated resist-dyeing, brush painting, applied metallic leaf, and embroidery. The impact was such that Kubota decided to dedicate his life to recreating this lost art.

Kubota’s hand-crafted kimono are exquisite masterpieces. Many were conceived in series and will be installed together to create immersive panoramic fabric landscapes. Included in the exhibition are works from Kubota’s magnificent series “Symphony of Light” that depicts, in his words, the “grandeur of the universe.” The unique body of work includes two sets of kimono, one reflecting the four seasons and the second the artist’s celestial vision of the universe.

MWPAI will offer a comprehensive experience for visitors in summer 2018, with two parallel exhibitions to accompany “Kimono!” The first, “Robes of Many Colors: Textile Design in Japanese Woodblock Prints,” includes 50 works from the museum’s collection that highlight kimono in context of daily life in Japan. The second show, “Global Splendor,” will be presented in the Edward W. Root Sculpture Court and will feature ceremonial and special-event clothing from cultures represented around the globe.

Admission is $12 for the general public, $6 for full-time students, free for MWPAI members and children 12 and younger.

Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute is at 310 Genesee St.

For information, call 315-797-0000 or visit

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