Artistry in Silk: The Kimono of Itchiku Kubota

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.

Type: Exhibition

Date: Feb 7, 2018 - May 13, 2018

Curated by: Jacqueline Marx Atkins

Public Programs

The Slow Approach Workshop Series:

  • Looking Together
    April 4, 6-7 pm
  • Drawing Together
    April 11, 6-7 pm
  • Making Together
    April 18, 6-7 pm

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); 198×139 cm | Rurikon / Lingering Memories (1983); 198×139 cm | Kougaki / A Tapestry of Colour (1984); 198×139 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); 214×128 cm.

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