“Food, clothing, and shelter” are the essentials of life. Issey Miyake, one of the 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT directors has organized an exhibition that focuses upon “clothing” and some of the many essential articles produced by the Tohoku Region, Japan. The 21_21 Design Sight research centre is holding a six day celebration of Tohoku culture and craftsmanship (July 26- july 31), featuring Myiake’s own work, and some of the many essential articles produced by the Tohoku region.
Following the disaster that has struck the area, “Clothing” is an exhibition dedicated to traditional Japanese textile techniques, already famous on European catwalks. Much of them, as Myiake’s, Yamamoto’s , Kawakubo’s designs are often derived from the old traditions of the Tohoku region, commonly viewed as the creative heartland of Japan.
“The Spirit of Tohoku“exhibition shows that “Clothing” goes beyond fashion, and it’s all about humanity facing a crisis, living in harmony with nature, putting creativity to use, making beautiful and powerful items for daily use.
Muneyoshi Yanagi once described the Tohoku region as, “a land of handmade work that continues to preserve a wealth of things only possible in Japan.” The knowledge of craftsmanship and techniques of traditional handmade crafts passed down and refined for generations, have paved the way for technologies that now support our society today… This “spirit” is something we must cherish; and yet is also something from which we have detached ourselves in an era of excessive consumption. It lives on in the energy and rich history of craftsmanship of this region. It also may prove to be the spark of hope that will guide us all, going forward.