Fabric / Kazuhiro Suzuki
Kazuhiro Suzuki, Fabric Artist
鈴木一弘 染織家 京都府京都市
“Meibutsugire - Woven Silk Fabric”
Meibutsugire are luxurious, elegant silk fabrics which were introduced into Japan over 400 years ago by daimyo (rich landowners) and wealthy travelers who were enchanted by their beauty. Ever since then these silk fabrics have been cherished and are used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, Chanoyu.
These beautiful silk fabrics have been collected by three generations of the same family and now they are studied, restored and in some cases reproduced, by one man: Mr. Kazuhiro Suzuki.
There are many types of Meibutsugire, but Mr. Suzuki’s specialty is Takeyamachi (brick style weaving). The cloth used is the finest, transparent silk gauze and is embroidered with gold-lacquered paper and colored thread to create a refined, delicate fabric.
Mr. Suzuki is the only and likely to be the last person in Japan capable of completing all of the processes from weaving to embroidery. Even though he is the last man standing in a long tradition he doesn’t let this fact faze him and for Mr. Suzuki it is business as usual.
Celadon Objet 10 with Ancient Textile Inlay / 青磁裂象嵌 オブジェ10 / 26.5cm H, 33cm W, 7.5cm H, 2.5kg
"Objet 49" Framed Takeyamachi Textile Artwork / 竹屋町額「49 オブジェ」 / 27.5cm x 23 cm Handwoven Silk
"71 Mountain Range" Framed Takeyamachi Textile Artwork / 竹屋町額「71 連山」 / 20cm x 24.7cm Handwoven Silk
Stationary Box / 説相箱 / 35.5cm x 26.5cm x 13.5cm Made of hinoki cypress, silk, gold, engraving
He devotes himself to creating a wonderful legacy of work using the techniques he has inherited and he is constantly searching for new ways to express his artistic musings.
For Mr. Suzuki the attractiveness of Takeyamachi is in the artistic freedom that it gives the artisan. Other textiles usually require the designer to work from a predetermined pattern but Takeyamachi permits the artisan to change the design as he sews when new inspiration strikes.
The power of his imagination shapes the work as though it is a living entity giving rise to a new and magnificent creation. As a consequence, each new piece delights us with its ingenuity and thus becomes the only piece in existence in this world. This, says Mr. Suzuki, gives him incomparable happiness.
Photography by Hirofumi Miyamoto