Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shibori Seeker

Tuesday, after the meeting at Tadodai Residence, a friend and I took the train to Kamakura in search of a gallery that was having an exhibit of some shibori work. For those of you who are still trying to catch up with us – I was a studio artist in Norfolk at the Hermitage Foundation Museum and Gardens for the last two years. The focus of my work was based on a Japanese technique called Shibori – where you manipulate fabric through stitching, binding, folding and then dye it. I will be a seeker for the next three years to find fellow shibori artists and with any luck take some classes or study with a master. On a previous outing to Kamakura my friend and Yoda, Kathy, spotted a poster hanging up that appeared to advertise an exhibit. We could figure out the dates and times of the gallery but the one thing we did not know was where the show was located. So I took a picture of it and had one of the interns that works with Jeff translate the information – she was nice enough to include directions from the train station to the gallery. So with my information in hand, Kathy and I set off to find the exhibit. To set everyone straight - Kathy is NOT old like Yoda (and I have to put this out there because she reads my blog and will be all over my case for calling her a Yoda) - I am referring to her seemingly endless knowledge on all the cool things to do here in Japan. This is her second tour here in Japan and I count myself as extremely fortunate to have hooked in with her (or maybe I latched onto her?) - she has included me in numerous outings and managed to guide me in joining the groups she thought I'd get the most out of while here in Japan. She has been a Godsend.

Left means Right

We immediately sensed that we had made a wrong turn coming out of the station – standing on the street looking like confused American tourists we spied a immaculately dressed older woman watching us (Lord only knows what she was thinking – crazy American women) … so I went up and asked if she spoke English and pointing to my directions, did she know where the gallery was located. She responded in perfect English, was very gracious and said she would take us back in the right direction. Now setting off on the correct path, we still had to find the gallery – we ended up standing in front of the poster where I took the picture. I proceeded to approach anyone passing and said “English? Gallery?” as I pointed to the poster, trying to give my best Vanna White impression. Soon enough a young lady said in again, perfect English, “I speak English and I’ll take you to the gallery.” Score!

Beautiful Art

The Gallery was small but the work was stunning. I am totally kicking myself now that I did not ask if I could take some pictures. The show was the work of four women, some of the techniques I have explored but some I have not. One of the artists spoke a bit of English and I asked her if she would consider teaching me – I have contacted her and I’m waiting for her reply (keep your fingers crossed for me).

Do Japanese calories count the same in English?

Kathy has been raving about a French restaurant that serves “THE BEST” coffee in Japan and it is located in Kamakura – and as it turns out is not far from the gallery. She and I stopped in for absolutely divine waffles with delicious coffee. I took pictures, although something is lost in the translation – the cafĂ© au lait came in two different pitchers and you mixed it yourself. Once again, the care with presentation here is great eye candy. The waffles were fabulous, I’ll be coming back here for sure – after I resume a very intense work out regime!

It was quite the busy day between Tadodai Residence in the morning and Kamakura in the afternoon. The rest of the week had a couple more outings planned – check back in on the blog as I try to get caught up. Till next time, sayonara.

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