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Conversations Series 3, Episode 3 ‘Japanese Stitchery Now: Story of Sashiko in Sweden by Takao Momiyama’
February 24, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Yoshiko I. Wada will be facilitating the conversation from Leicester, England with Takao Momiyama from Simrishamn, Skåne County, Sweden. Momi-san is an artist and sashiko and boro practitioner whose work appeared in Boro – The Art of Necessity, a recent exhibition by The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, National Museum of World Culture, Stockholm, Sweden. What was his path to stitching? What are his inspirations and philosophies? Join us to hear his story.
At the end of the talk there will be our first “STITCH-IN SOCIAL” for 15 minutes. Bring your favorite fabric scraps, any form of textile, a threaded needle of your choice, and your curiosity. No rules, nor preparation required. If you would like to make your own “palm thimble pad,” here is a video clip on how to make one. Let’s stitch together with Momi-san!
Since graduating in 1999, I have worked in various contexts, from product design to the design of artistic artifacts. Textile materials and textile techniques are in focus.
More than ten years ago, I started working with the Japanese sewing technique sashiko. Sashiko is a sewing technique based on stitches: the simple stitch where the needle and thread move up and down through a fabric surface. The early use of the technology was to strengthen and repair garments. By laying layers of fabric on top of each other and then covering the surface with pre-stitches, the technology can also fulfill another function: the air created between the fabric layers provides a warming effect.
I see a force in the slow process of sashiko technology. It is not possible to plan from the beginning how something will be shaped, instead there is a value in allowing thoughts and ideas to influence what happens both with the material and with compositions during the process. With surfaces of dense stitches in formations, the worn fabric surface is preserved and something new is built up, an artistic process where “function” also brings with it an aesthetic expression. The old cloth surfaces bear traces of time and life, they tell stories that cannot really be formulated in words.
It is as if I no longer think about whether what I am embroidering on is an everyday object or a picture, if it is “function” or if it is “art”. When I make my old Japanese training pants with sashiko, I choose the color of the thread, the choice of fabrics that can strengthen, I add varying formations of dense and sparse stitches. My made-up trousers get an artistic expression for me.
Biography taken from Takao Momiyama’s Website: https://www.momiyama.com/
Takao Momiyama’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/momiyamatakao/?hl=en