Textile Art Project – 2017
Bijin is a Japanese term which refers to “beautiful woman”. A woman whose the beauty and elegance, makes her standing over the crowd as a social title of notoriety.
This project was developed as an exploration the physical “Beauty” and its standards, both in DRCongo and in Japan and how it can be expressed and extended visually into a textile artwork.
Beauty is defined as the combination of qualities such shape, color or form that please the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. When it comes to human beauty rules differ regarding each individual, culture etc.
Thus, while exploring beauty in Japanese society , its within the long history that information came from icons of beauty illustrations called “bijinga “ literally “Drawing of beautiful woman “. The drawing show how do Japanese Beauty was perceived and defined. Those images depict the courtisanes , the professional entertainers (Geiko) to personalities recognized as “beautiful” for their style and art.
In DRCongo, focus on precolonial and postcolonial pictures which refer to different tribes and theirs art expressions started the investigations. But also with were extension to a comprehension of the beauty standards today.
However , as Youth and Beauty have been considered together as short and fragile, then the ephemerality of beauty and its representation had been also incorporated into the creative process.
As a result four panels were dyed by rice paste resist dyeing with extracts from Black tea from Kyoto, Logwood, Onions skins and Sappan Wood chips.
Mirrored Flowers motifs were used to express : the ephemerality of beauty (distinctively Cherrys and Plumerias) and the importante place of the mirror as it is used for beauty purpose.
Reference to the cherry blossoms, recalled a famous Japanese proverb, which links the flower life to the life of the warrior (samurai) . The flower, short but beautiful apparition in spring, is compared to the glorious life of the warrior , however that life is prone to a sudden end during military service.
Thus, sword graphics were included with the well known Japanese style hairstyle “Nihongami” that Geiko still wear today.
Those design elements are representing the Japanese expression of beauty.
Then references to Scarification, body paintings, braid fractal and architectural hair style from the Mangbetu tribe women were applied to the motif expressing the Congolese expression of Beauty.
Techniques: Rice paste Resist dyeing (Katazome) , metallic foiling.
Materials: Kimono’s Cotton fabric