WRITER: HANVEY HSIUNG
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Jan. 14, 2000
UI Museum of Art presents exhibition of Japanese Carved Paper
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Museum of Art will present "Carved
Paper: The Art of the Japanese Stencil," an exhibition of katagami stencils
used in textile dyeing, Jan. 22 through March 5 in the Carver Gallery.
Educational programs will be presented by Susanna Campbell Kuo, an authority
on Japanese stencils and co-author of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.
Kuo will present a free slide lecture and a stencil carving demonstration
at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23 as a part of the museum's weekly Perspectives
series. And from 10:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, she will give
another stencil carving demonstration at the museum.
Paper stencils have been used for textile dyeing in Japan since at least
the 12th century. Katagami (literally, "pattern paper") stencils
are used in the textile dyeing process known as katazome. A dye-resistant
paste is applied to cloth through patterns carved into the stencils, which
are made of mulberry paper and waterproofed with persimmon juice. When the
cloth is dyed, the pattern that was carved into the paper stencil appears
in the undyed areas of the cloth.
Apart from the functional nature of the stencils, the exceptional beauty
of the katagami patterns and the masterful carving on their rich brown paper
have captivated Western collectors, designers, and artists for the last 50
Visitors to the exhibition will find a rich array of designs in the stencils,
from miniature geometric shapes to elaborate, pictorial compositions with
motifs drawn from nature, poetry, folklore and objects in daily life. The
collection constitutes an extraordinary archive of Japanese two-dimensional
design, offering rich insights into Japanese art and culture.
Victoria Rovine, curator of the arts of Asia, Africa, and Oceania, is sure
that "people will be surprised by the objects in the exhibition because
even though they're tools, they are themselves beautiful, technically amazing
works of art."
The exhibition was organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in California.
The exhibition and its accompanying publication are funded in part by grants
from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Japan Foundation, the Wallis
Foundation, the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Studies (Kyoto), the Chalifoux
Fund, the Dr. and Mrs. Albert E. and Antoinette Gump Amorteguy Oriental Publications
Endowment, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Friends of Asian Art.
For information on the UI Museum of Art, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~artmus
on the World Wide Web. The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive
in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon
to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in
UI parking lots on Riverside Drive.