Last night my wife and I attended a Bonenkai party at the Timken Museum of Art given by the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. The Timken Museum and the San Diego Museum of Art currently have a kimono exhibit, Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota, and we were able to see some of the kimonos on exhibit. In fact, when the exhibit opened, my wife, Michiko, a professional interpreter and translator, interpreted for the son of Itchiku Kubota who is lending the kimonos to the museums. Itchiku was an award winning artist and passed away in 2003.
These kimonos are quite fascinating. Instead of painting on canvas, Kubota-san tie-dyed landscape images onto silk kimonos he created, giving the images a three-dimensional effect. The kimonos are very intractely designed, taking a year each to be finished. These kimonos aren’t for wearing (some are quite huge); they’re purely for display as an art-form.
After January 4, 2009, the exhibit moves on to the Cultural Center for the Arts in Canton, Ohio. If you’re in the San Diego area soon, or in the Canton area February-April, definitly check it out if you can.