Lengths of delicately woven material have been draped above metal skewers at this Tokyo exhibition about the tradition of hemp textiles in Japan .
Japanese designer Yusuke Seki designed the exhibition, entitled The Forgotten Fabric, for Tokyo-based mostly textile brand Majotae.
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The present celebrated the release of a new fabric manufactured from woven hemp – a material produced from cannabis plant fibres that was once broadly utilized in Japanese garments, but saw a sharp decline after the prohibition of cannabis in the 1930s.
Plinths manufactured from tall steel rods of various heights supported the fragments of white material in a split-degree gallery room that was filled with white gravel.
The lengths of fabric were laid out flat as the spindly structures would let, so that visitors could hone in on the “lightness, softness, delicate thinness” of the material.
“With the calm and serene atmosphere designed, the hope is to have site visitors have a fresh technique to hemp fabric and to discover the historical background to a forgotten tradition,” explained Seki.
“Visitors are invited to interact with the display, so the particulars of the piece can need much more interest.”
A series of colourful printed textiles were hung within pale timber frames and dotted all through the white exhibition area.
In Japan, hemp use 1st started in the Jomon time period – close to 12,000 BC – in which the fibrous textile and its narcotic counterpart have been utilised in religious and classic ceremonies.
Seki attributes the decline of hempen fabrics to the prohibition of cannabis right after the 2nd Planet War – under the Cannabis Handle Law, possession of the narcotic created from the plant can lead to hefty prison terms and the production of hemp calls for a licence.
“Cannabis is identified to be an integral part of Japanese culture, as it has been historically utilized not only in material but in agriculture and farming, integrated in religious ceremonies in the Shinto area,” explained the designer.
The Forgotten Fabric is the latest in a series of projects by the designer meant to advertise the use of traditional textiles in Japan, following a pair of kimono shops.
The exhibition took location for three days in October at Daikanyama Hillside Terrace.
Photography is by Kenta Hasegawa.
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