【Edo Tokyo Rethink】Kinkarakami Institute x Noritaka Tatehana
Kinkarakawashioriginated in European gilt leather. Upon being brought over to Japan, artisans recreated the decorative leather using Japanese paper.
During and after the Meiji period,Kinkarakawashibecame popular enough to even be exported. However, the ascent of its popularity began to slow after its initial peak. By the middle of the Showa period, the production techniques had become almost completely lost.
The work of restoring this lost technique was started by Takashi Ueda, who founded the Kinkarakami Institute and is holder of the national selected traditional conservation technique ofKinkarakawashi.
Ueda has been involved with restoration work of various Important Cultural Properties, including the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens and building that housed the Otaru branch of the Former Nippon Yusen company. He is also involved with creating products such as folding screens that useKinkarakawashi.
The Kinkarakami Institute has taken part in this exhibition through a special collaboration, recreating the wallpaper used on the second floor guest room of the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei garden’s Western-style building. This recreatedKinkarakawashiwas then used by contemporary artist Noritaka Tatehana to create special Heel-less Shoes.
The upper part of the piece has Tatehana’s classic embossed leather, while the lower half uses theKinkarakawashipaper.
This piece contrasts the expression of embossed leather representing the gilt leather brought over from Europe, and expression of Kinkarakami that uses Japanese paper. Within this contrast one can feel the deep history that connects gilt leather and Kinkarakami.
*All necessary safety precautions were taken during the interview as part of COVID-19 prevention.
Online Exhibition Outline
Exhibition Title: Edo Tokyo Rethink -The Future of Traditional Industry Seen Through Art at the Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens-
Organizer: Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Edo-Tokyo Kirari Project
Co-organizer: Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association