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Craft Portrait: Dorozome (Installation)

Craft Portrait: Dorozome is a project in collaboration with textile designer Pauline Agsutoni in the context of our participation in the exhibition re-FORMAT for museum Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture.

The project is a publication and a textile installation that originates from the wish to narrate craftsmanship in the most forthright way. Instead of relying on secondhand sources and online « how-to’s », the designers try to go straight to the source of a country’s craft culture and understand it from the inside. 


In February 2020, they traveled to Amami Oshima, an island situated in the South of Japan and spent three weeks with the artisans of the dyeing workshop Kanai Kougei, learning and exploring dorozome dyeing.


Dorozome is a mud-dyeing technique which originates from the Southern Japanese island Amami Oshima. The process involves dyeing white threads in tree bark extracts and in mud until they reach a deep black colour. In the end, the technique requires more than 85 dyeing steps. Traditionally, the technique is used for the production of Oshima Tsumugi, delicate patterned woven silk kimonos.  


As a result of the field trip, the research translated to a textile installation and a publication.

The installation provides a stage for these process colors to be presented, in order to be able to communicate the complexity of the process of dorozome production. It also aims to enhance the richness of the technique and its colors.  The textiles of the installation turn following the twisting movement that can be found many times in the artisans’ movements during the dyeing process.

The publication is composed of 11 interviews of Dorozome artisans, accompanied by photographs of the island and the workshop. It is aimed at communicating the knowledge about Dorozome directly from the people performing it every day. In their testimonies, the artisans are addressing diverse themes such as the history of Dorozome, the island's nature and materials, and the oral tradition of teaching Dorozome.

Craft Portrait: Dorozomeは、デザイナーPauline Agustoniとのコラボレーションプロジェクトです。本作は ベルギーの美術館 Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture で行われた展覧会 re-FORMATに出展されました。

Craft Portraitは工芸を通して大量生産大量消費を軸にしたグローバル社会の仕組みをどのように再考できるかという問いかけから始まりました。工芸とは実用性と美的価値とを兼ね備えた工作物を作ることとされており、最終成果物の繊細さ、美しさに焦点が当てられがちです。しかし、その製造背景には伝統から培われた他と共存するための知識、文化がかならず背景にあります。Craft Portraitはそれらがこの消費社会でモノと人との関わり方に新たな気づきを生み出すのではないかと考え、工芸の背景にある過程、精神性を視覚化することを目的としています。主に現地に実際に赴いてフィールドリサーチを行い、リサーチの成果を海外の美術館やギャラリーで作品を発表しています。

Craft Portraitシリーズの一作目として、奄美大島の伝統工芸「泥染め」をテーマにしました。実際に奄美大島の染色工房「金井工芸」に赴き、3週間のフィールドリサーチを行いました。


Craft Portrait :Dorozomeのインスタレーションはこの生産背景に隠れた美学を視覚的に伝える試みです。泥染めされた布は9色あり、製造工程でしか見られないピンク色から漆黒色になるまでの過程の色を見せています。布を絞る一連の動きは泥染め職人達が繰り返し染液を手で絞る動作を表現しています。

Creation 2021

Support by Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture
Exhibited in re-FORMAT, Z33
Photography by Selma Gurbuz

Motor design by Matīss Balodis

Collaboration with Kanai Kougei

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