Artistry in Silk: The Kimono of Itchiku Kubota

Date: February 7 – May 13, 2018
Curated by: Jacqueline Marx Atkins

Opening Reception Wednesday February 7, 6:00 – 7:30pm: All are welcome!

Artistry in Silk celebrates the work of Itchiku Kubota (1917–2003), an innovative artist whose spectacular creations gave new meaning to the art of kimono. He brought new life to a 16th -century decorative technique known as tsujigahana, a combination of resist-dyeing techniques and ink-drawing that was once thought lost forever. In his subsequent production of sumptuously beautiful kimono that featured “Itchiku tsujigahana,” the artist’s adaptation of this art form expanded contemporary ideas of surface design and assured Kubota a legacy as an out-of-the-ordinary artist and artisan whose work stimulated the mind and delighted the eye.

The exhibition presents 41 kimono designed and produced by the artist over three decades, from 1976 to his death in 2003.

Curated by Jacqueline Marx Atkins and organised by the International Chodiev Foundation.

The exhibition is made possible through the lead sponsorship of the William R. and Shirley Beatty Charitable Foundation and is supported by The Japan Foundation.

Artistry in Silk is presented on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of Japan-Canada diplomatic relations in 2018-2019.

Opening Reception sponsors: Consulate General of Japan in Toronto, Ozawa Canada Inc. & Asahi.


Public Programs

The Slow Approach Workshop Series:

Exhibition Tour with Natalia Nekrassova
May 2, 6-7 pm


All images courtesy of The International Chodiev Foundation. Triptych: LEFT TO RIGHT: Symphony of Light: Seasons Shoujoutou / Reflections before Nightfall (1983); 198x139 cm | Rurikon / Lingering Memories (1983); 198x139 cm | Kougaki / A Tapestry of Colour (1984); 198x139 cm. All: tie-dyeing and ink painting on silk crepe (chirimen) with gold wefts. Single: Keynote Kimono San/ Burning Sun (1986); tie-dyeing, ink painting, gold leaf, and embroidery on silk crepe (chirimen); 214x128 cm.