Traditional Japanese Garments Merge with Unusual Natural Materials in New Exhibition

From now through 11 September, the Minneapolis Institute of Art will showcase Dressed by Nature: Textiles of Japan, an exhibition that features over 120 Japanese textiles crafted from unexpected natural materials like banana leaf, nettle, hemp and even fish skin. “Exhibitions on the dress of Japan always focus on the silk kimono and clothes worn by the aristocracy,” curator Andreas Marks tells The Art Newspaper. “Dressed by Nature instead celebrates the inventiveness and beauty of folk traditions and clothes worn in everyday life.” As such, the garments are contextualized by historic photographs, paintings, woodblock prints and video clips. Of particular note is a 19th-century woman’s fish skin festival coat (aka a hukht) that is made by the Nivkh people of Sakhalin Island after repurposing the skins of the carp and salmon that the community fished for food. Read more about the fascinating show at The Art Newspaper.

Image courtesy of John R. Van Derlip Fund/Mary Griggs Burke Endowment Fund/Thomas Murray Collection