Screening and Directors’ Talk
Chain of Life: The Artistry of Mokuhanzome Kimono Dying
A Screening and Director’s Talk by Kaori Ishii
Date: Friday, February 10, 7 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Location: The Japan Foundation, Toronto
Address: 131 Bloor St. W., 2nd Floor
RSVP Required: http://www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp.php or (416) 966-1600 x104
Language: Japanese with English subtitles/translation
“Director Kaori Ishii will be present for a screening of her documentary on hand-stamped kimono dying, Chain of Life. She will talk about her experience making the film and the ancient craft of mokuhanzome.
This movie examines the hands of an artisan who uses cherry blossom wood stamps to transform a solid piece of fabric into a kimono. By following the process from start to finish, we experience the life of an artisan.
Yoshikazu Fujimoto once saw a small piece of fabric when he was an apprentice of Edo komon paper pattern dyeing, a popular dyeing technique in Japan. This piece of fabric used the oldest dyeing technique in history, called Mokuhanzome (wood print dyeing). Although this technique had once almost become extinct, in the artisan’s eyes, it appeared as something entirely new.
That was where his exploration of the technique began. He secretly pursued the study of the technique behind his master’s back, and after he became independent as a professional artisan, he continued studying for six years. The road to mastering mokuhanzome, an art which had almost disappeared in Japan, was long, lonesome, and tough. Still, the artisan took this road, step by step, slowly but surely. And still to this date, he continues his journey.
It is not an exaggeration to say that there are only two ways to learn about the wood stamp dyeing technique: either go to a studio in Japan and spend a few days with an artisan, or watch this film. This film is a must-see for anyone who studies dyeing, fashion, art, culture or craftsmanship.”