Exhibition dates: 10 October 2014 – 8 February 2015
Recently opened in Lisbon, the exhibition ‘Boro – The Fabric of Life’ presents fifty-four pieces (kimonos, bags, tatamis) all worked using the boro method. ‘Boro’ means rag, and boro textiles consist of different scraps of fabric stitched together like patchwork, and then dyed with indigo. This technique was in use in Japan from the end of the eighteenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. Boro textiles spread across the whole of Japan for around two hundred years, since the socioeconomic structure in Japan remained relatively unchanged during this period, until the beginning of the twentieth century.
While wearing cotton was restricted to the wealthier classes, Japanese peasants would have bought rags and second-hand clothes of cotton and transformed them into these unique boro pieces, to create stronger, more resilient textiles.
This exhibition deals with very current issues, such as the preservation of material resources, a respect for nature, the reuse or repurposing of materials and product lifespan. For these reasons, but also for the simplicity and intrinsic aesthetic quality of these pieces, ‘Boro – The Fabric of Life’ is well worth going to see.
OATG member and website manager Pamela Cross recently visited this exhibition in Lisbon, and has written a very positive review of the show on her online forum, Tribal Textiles, which you can read here.
For more information, visit the website of the Museu do Design e da Moda, Lisbon, Portugal.