Lithuanian textile artists are commemorating the centenary of restored statehood by participating in the VIII Biennial of Lithuanian Textile Art (Re)Create. This important Lithuanian date has inspired them to contemplate the fact of the statehood restoration and has encouraged them to search for a new interpretation of the historical, symbolic or semantic aspects of (re)creation. In the history of Lithuania, the last hundred years till the restoration of independence had a critical influence on the destiny of the state, on the desire for freedom felt by its citizens and formed a specific concept of the nation.
History reading is a highly subjective thing and, therefore, nearly fifty participants of this exhibition offer a variety of approaches towards the centenary of the statehood restoration looking at it from their own perspectives, sometimes embracing modern interpretations and disputing the stereotypes. A restoration process is literally typical of textiles because warp and weft are not time-proof, they easily fade, tear and disintegrate; however, fibres also allow us to stop the disintegration process through darning and restoration of the damaged fabric, which can be metaphorically seen as history, i.e. the fabric of time. Disintegration and restoration are integral to the concept of both traditional and innovative textiles.
The works of textile artists reveal creative stratagems born from their personal expression needs (reproduce / visualise / remake), i.e. the journeys from the identification of a specific symbol, phenomenon or event to its interpretation and remaking (appropriation). Some artists choose to emphasise historical and cultural particularities, others use ethnic traditions as a basis, while the rest think of the state as of the entirety of signs and symbols that represent the exclusivity of the nation. Metaphorical thinking prevails among the works: the statehood is identified with one`s home, family, or recognisable textile patterns. Some of the artists explore the semantic linguistic code of creation and re-creation.
Various artworks displayed at the biennial demonstrate both a traditional and a controversial approach towards the (re)creation process as well as different techniques: computerised weaving and innovative technologies are becoming increasingly popular in addition to hand weaving and other traditional methods. The works represent different generations of artists. Next to well-known names firmly established in the artistic circles and distinguished by easily recognisable style and expression methods, the exhibition also displays many pieces created by young textile artists that often reflect their youthful ambition. The selection of works confirms that modern textile art is highly versatile and that, despite differences in experience or creative careers, all artists raise the same universal existential questions and delve into their personal relationship with the history of their country. The past is always extremely important in forming the sense of identity of nations and communities. Without history, we could not assess the present. It facilitates the understanding of lifestyle and customs, determines present cultural and social relationships and allows predicting their future developments.
Curator: prof. Žydrė Ridulytė
Organizers: prof. Eglė Ganda Bogdanienė, dr. Lijana Šatavičiūtė, Dovilė Tomkutė
Design: Danas Bereznickas, Regina Kosmovski, Dovilė TomkutėSponsors of the exhibition: Lithuanian Artists Association, Lithuanian Culture Council.
Japanese Fiber Art
ARKA Gallery continues the collaboration with Japanese artists. In 2017 the exhibition of Japanese fiber art from the collection of Janina Monkute-Marks Museum-Gallery in Kėdainiai was exhibited along with the international Textile Miniatures Biennial ETHNO.
This year, the visitors will be introduced to the world-famous art of Japanese basketry. The exhibition of small scale artworks by Japanese artists complements the Textile Biennial (RE)CREATE. The collection of several dozen works (curator and artist Kakuko Ishii) includes pieces created by the members of the Basketry Exhibition Group that has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. This Japanese artist group, active since 1980s and now uniting nearly one hundred members, develops archaic basketry techniques and adapts them to contemporary spatial compositions. This international textile branch originating from the traditional basketry has found a fertile ground in Japan, which can boast of very old basketry traditions. The braiding of natural fibers, paper, or wire reveals the unsurpassed ability of the Japanese to convey the intrinsic beauty of the material and to employ it purposefully to highlight the structure of the item creating subtle hints and multi-layered subtexts. The displays of the Basketry Exhibition Group travel around the world introducing the culture of Japan and the inexhaustible possibilities of using the ancient technologies in contemporary arts. The opening ceremony will be attended by the collection’s curator Kakuko Ishii and the representatives of the Basketry Exhibition Group: Haruko Sugawara, Noriko Hagino, Akiko Mio, Masayo Kageyama, and Nobuko Ueda.
Art researcher dr. Lijana Šatavičiūtė
Our Basketry Exhibition Group
This exhibition is Japanese Basketry as Fiber work of art which let material and the technique of the basket unfold creatively.
Through 1980, I explored basketmaking, especially focusing on the interplay of material and structural mechanism. And I started a class to introduce a conceptual approach to basketmaking in Japan. Some of my students from that period have been presiding over an annual basketry show since then to cultivate a new ground in Japan. The first show was held at Senbikiya Gallery, Chuo-ku Tokyo in 1986.The objective was then, and still is now, to generate mutual learning and promotion. In Japan, compared with the government-supported field for traditional art bamboo basketry and mingei folk basketry, the field for the contemporary basketry remains small and still not well known. The group avoided forming a so-called art/craft association or exclusive school of a core artist. I knew that in the Japanese cultural climate such attempts had seen quick rise and fall in a short time, for the exclusive/authoritative nature of organizations tends to distort its original ideal. It is a shared regard that binds our group and the conviction that each should be a leader to oneself and to the group, besides being a creative basketmaker.
Artist, curator Kakuko Ishii