63 x 85 x 5cm
silk (outside-layer) , wooden frame (paulownia)
Story behind the work
This work is inspired by traditional Japanese nature motifs symbolism, and is framed in paulownia wood originally used for a kimono chest-of-drawers.
It is elegantly framed with paulownia wood originally used for kimono chest-of-drawers, and is filled with storytelling and sense of luxury.
In this artwork, the aim was to capture the the auspicious symbol of camellia used in antique kimono. Traditional Japanese culture, represented by the kimono, and wood, an integral element of Japanese craftsmanship, were used to bring this vision to life.
I used pieces of kimono that could no longer be used as clothing and kiritansu chest-of-drawers that would normally be discarded to create the ultimate upcycled piece.
Explanation and meaning of pattern and colors
This delicate piece features hand-drawn camellia motifs flowing gracefully on a softly brightened grayish background.
Camellias, native to Japan, bloom from winter to early spring. As an evergreen tree with green leaves throughout the year, it symbolizes the anticipation of spring and is considered an auspicious plant. Due to its seasonal significance and auspicious meanings, camellias have been used as motifs symbolizing good fortune. Additionally, they were highly valued for their use in oil, cosmetics, and medicine, representing nobility. Believed to possess the power to ward off misfortune, camellias also carry the meaning of "protection from calamity" and have strong ties to traditional ceremonies. In this artwork, camellias are delicately depicted alongside flowing branches, subtly representing good fortune with their pale pink and white hues.
"Sora-iro nezumi 空色鼠" refers to a light grayish color with a hint of blue, reminiscent of the slightly brightened sky on a lightly cloudy day. Popular during the late Edo period (19th cent.), it elegantly captures the slightly brighter sky pattern seen on lightly overcast days. Notably, the term "nezumi-iro" (mouse gray), popular during the late Edo period, was paired with brown tones, collectively known as "Forty-eight Teas and a Hundred Mice 四十八茶百鼠." Colors within the "nezumi" (gray) spectrum, particularly "sora-iro nezumi," were favored by young people for their cool and sophisticated appeal.
Characteristics of the fabric
The fabric features intricately woven patterns that reveal subtle gradations through dyeing, creating a grid pattern that transforms depending on the light conditions.
Originally, this fabric was part of a formal kimono known as a "hōmongi 訪問着," featuring motifs along the hem, shoulders, and sleeves. These motifs have been carefully selected and combined to create a unified piece of artwork.
About the frame
Kiritansu - chest-of-drawers for kimono, is traditionally made from paulownia wood, a uniquely Japanese material closely tied to the world of kimonos.
Paulownia wood is known as the lightest wood in Japan, prased for its natural luster, resistance to moisture, and resilience against cracking. Since ancient times, it has been used in crafting furniture, chests, and musical instruments.
During the Edo period, it became customary to store cherished kimonos in paulownia chests, which offered fire resistance and protection from moisture and insects.
Traditionally, when a daughter was born, a paulownia tree would be planted. Upon her marriage, the tree would be cut down, and the wood would be used to craft a chest for her as a wedding gift.
Following the Ansei Earthquake during the late Edo period in 1855, paulownia chests gained popularity due to their ability to withstand fires and even float in water, thereby safeguarding their contents during floods.
I use antique kiritansu that can’t be used as furniture anymore to create basis and frames for my works. It adds them even more authentic atmosphere of traditional wabisabi spirit. Can you feel it?
Canvas can be displayed on a table, wall, etc. Hanging on a wall requires hooks, tacks or nails. It can also be displayed propped up on an easel. Ideal for a room makeover, housewarming gift, present, or souvenir for a loved one.
All the works are made from real kimonos, antiques and vintages. For this reason, the fabric may have traces of long-term use and minor fabric damages. In case there are any scratches or stains, we always add a photo of the area on the item page, so please check before purchasing. Regarding precaution, cancellation and refund policy, please refer to the refund policy in the footer section of the site for information.