‘Tree of Hope’ inspires designer Issey Miyake exhibition

07/25/2011
By

Tree of Hope

TOKYO (majirox news) — Only one out of 70,000 pine nut trees survived in the city of Rikuzentakada at Iwate prefecture. The other black-and-red pine trees were scattered and washed away by Japan’s March 11 tsunami. About 10 percent of the city’s population is dead or missing and large parts of the city lie in ruins. The trees had protected the city from ocean winds for more than 300 years; now only one remains.

Popular fashion designer Issey Miyake is using the Tree of Hope to symbolize a special exhibition at the end of July, paying homage to Tohoku. The show, titled The Spirit of Tohoku: Clothing by Issey Miyake, focuses on visual culture as shaped by the people of Tohoku.

Miyake knows what it is like to be amid destruction. He was 7 years old when the atomic bomb hit his hometown of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. He said that by putting thoughts and memories behind him, he was “thinking of things that can be created, not destroyed, to bring beauty and joy.”

Fashion designer Issey Miyake

Miyake, one of the 21-21 Design Sight directors, organized the exhibition of the Tohoku Region. He has a longstanding relationship with the region, which he says has given him a unique understanding of the spirit of Tohoku.

He aims to bring people the artistic tradition of craftsmanship of Tohoku’s culture and spirit through the region’s cloths, videos, discussion sessions, poetry readings and live music performances. The exhibit will also focus on the importance of community, especially during this time in Japan.

Tohoku has been favored by many Japanese artists, inspiring poets and ink painting artists. Its inhabitants have traditionally used periods of being stuck indoors during the region’s long, harsh winters to learn craftwork, including ironware, woodworks and woven fabrics. The knowledge of the craftsmanship and techniques has been passed down and refined for generations.

The exhibition will be held from July 26 to 31 in @21_21 Design Sight, Tokyo Midtown. Entrance is free.

kyoko@majiroxnews.com

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One Response to ‘Tree of Hope’ inspires designer Issey Miyake exhibition

  1. Sara on 07/27/2011 at 8:07 am

    I would love to see this! It is amazing to see how national disasters are translated through art.

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