High-Color Japanese Fabrics

Presented during the last Première Vision salon, the “Japan Creators’ Textile Project” aims to promote Japanese textiles with enthusiasm and engagement. Underwritten by the Japanese Ministry of Economics, Commerce and Trade, the project skillfully combines art and industry, tradition and contemporaneity, thanks to a renowned trio: the photographer-filmmaker Mika Ninagawa, the illustrator-creative director Fantasista Utamaro, and the textile technician Komatsu Seiren. It is not so much about pushing the technical possibilities of creation so much as using the power of association to bring together experiences and already-existing traditions of excellence.
Japan Creators textile Fantasista Utamaro
So, disregard the weak! Twenty ultra-colorful designs range from hanami to manga motifs. Artificial funereal chrysanthemums burst with bright colors, gladiolus, daffodils, sweet peas and other saturated mimosas, spring cherry blossoms echoing with electricity, onomatopoeic camouflage exploding amidst twinkling stars.
Thanks to the 16 million colors offered by inkjet printing, the photographs and illustrations created by the two artists become synthetic textiles both refined and explosive. In turn, these printed fabrics become the base material for another creation: two fashion collections in “high color,” which will be successively presented at the department store Isetan in Shinjuku, one of the busiest neighborhoods of Tokyo. They will arrive in October and December 2013, respectively.
Japan Creators textile Mika Ninagawa
Two questions posed to Mika Ninagawa et Fantasista Utamaro :
Is the use of a textile base exciting for you?
MN: Through my past experiences of the collaboration project with major houses such as Céline, Lucien Pellat-Finet and Agnès b., I already had delight in my works being fashion items such as clothing, bags and interior items such as curtain. However, this time is slightly different. My works can be anything by being turned into textile and this opens the doors to eternal possibilities. I was quite impressed when I saw textile with my works printed on it, and I’m so exciting when I imagine how my textile becomes other things.
FU: I’m extremely happy! I’ve been creating patterns that “grow” eternally, so I’m so happy about the opportunity of this project and also feel this will open the door to new possibilities in my future. Viva Tokyo!!!
Was this project a challenge for you?
MN: I think “textile” deeply pervades our everyday lives; textiles become products that will be owned by someone as a part of his/her life deeply. I’m so delighted about my works becoming part of somebody’s life. It’s more exciting rather than challenging. However, when I think about this project itself, for example, “How this project will be?” or “Will this project will be successful or not?”, it surely has challenging aspects. In this sense, to participate in the largest textile tradeshow, Première Vision, has a big meaning for me. I’m glad that many that professional people in the textile industry will take and see my work. Having ties with many people through my works is a delight that I cannot experience normally.
FU: This project makes me want to become one of the top artists working on fabrics in future. I feel within me a kind of fighting spirit, saying “Come on! I can do anything!” but, at the same time, this is a big challenge, with both expectations and anxieties.