Fusae Urabe



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Materials: Silk Kimono fabric, and others 
Techniques: Hand Knitting, Crochet
Size: 60cm x 120cm
Date Made: 1999
I decided to use a traditional Japanese Kimono that had remained in my family as the raw material for a knitted work. Silk fabrics have always fascinated me. They have such beautiful qualities, such as their shiny surfaces, and yet they are so light in weight. I was thrilled to be able to use this expensive silk kimono as a material, but at the same time, I felt a deep sense of responsibility using this un-replaceable item for my own use.

The kimono had a lining, and the two fabrics seemed to be well matched, each being settled in its own position - front and back - satisfying functional purpose as well as visual appearance. I began by cutting the fabrics into many narrow lengths, the strips of the front fabric making one yarn and the strips of lining another. As soon, however, as these two fabrics were detached from each other and appeared together on the same surface, they started a grand struggle, and the battleground was 'Colour'. I had never expected this to happen, so I decided to act as the referee of this battle. In order to ease their anger and calm things down, I tried to sooth tensions by controlling the edges of the strips, allowing some to fray more than others, and loose threads to stray across the surface. I spun them together and added different materials…. These were all useful efforts, and as the battle progressed I simply wanted them to live well and in good harmony.