Gold and glass and Hello Kitty – the refurbished Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art at the V&A

Kimono design V&AThe V&A have just reopened their refurbished Toshiba Gallery of Japanese Art so, as you would expect, Yannick and I rushed down to have a look. And guess what? We really liked it. It’s a lovely mixture of of over five hundred objects, both old favourites and new acquisitions, all displayed in a layout reminiscent of a traditional Japanese house. Continue reading

Itchiku Kubota – Kimono as Landscape, Kimono as Art

Photo © Itchiku Kubota Art Museum/Peter Hoff

Photo © Itchiku Kubota Art Museum/Peter Hoff

The latest Japan Foundation programme has just hit my inbox, and I’m thrilled to see that they’re having a talk on Itchiku Kubota and his tsujigahana kimonos. I’ve been interested in these wonderful kimonos for a long time, so much so that a few years back I visited the Itchiku Kubota Museum in Japan to see the display of kimonos there for myself. Continue reading

Kimonos rule at Japan Matsuri 2014

Japan Matsuri 2014Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Square gets bigger and better every year. Especially this year, with the Indian summer we’ve been having, which really brought out the crowds. A surprising number of people dressed the part in kimonos – everything from cotton yukata, the traditional wear for a summer festival, to richly decorated antique kimonos. That’s what I’ve focused on this year, so here’s my kimono fashion parade from Japan Matsuri. Continue reading

Hyper Japan 2014

Hyper Japan 2014 If it’s July it must be time for Hyper Japan, London’s biggest Japanese pop culture show. Once again it’s at Earl’s Court, but bigger, better and taking over the main hall for the first time. Which is great, except it makes it much harder to bring you the flavour of this varied and popular show. But I’ll give it a go. Continue reading

Fukushima Kimonos at UCL – Clay becomes Cloth (well, almost) 

Yuko Yamaguchi - Fukushima kimonos The University College London Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Annual Conference is not the first place you’d think to look for Japanese art, but for two days last week the conference offered a rare opportunity to see Yuki Yamaguchi’s Fukushima kimonos, in the South Cloisters at UCL. When I arrived the conference tea break was in full swing, and I had to dodge between the participants to get a look at the artworks. They were fascinating (the kimonos, not the participants) – made, not of cloth, but of ceramic tiles. Continue reading

Kyoto, City of Dreams, comes to London

Kyoto City of Dreams I went to a lovely little exhibition of photos of Kyoto and Kyoto-made kimonos yesterday. It’s in a new gallery on Museum St called Mokspace, perfect if you’re on your way to the British Museum and want a little art aperitif before you go in. It’s the work of photographer Jeremy Hoare and his Japanese wife, kimono-maker Chizuko Kimura. Continue reading