The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery
“A painter once told me he was very jealous of me as an embroiderer. He explained that embroidery is able to utilize the sheen of the silk threads in a way that cannot be duplicated by paint, while its textures also create tonal varioations that alter according to the angle from which it is viewed, adding a unique depth to the motif.”
The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery showcases the art of the talented embroidery artist Shizuka Kusano.
Shizuka Kusano's canvases are kimono, obi (the kimono sash), and tapestries, on which she creates extraordinary compositions in brilliant color and subtle tones, with a rich contrast in textures. Her themes are drawn from Japanese poetry, literature, and art, as well as traditional seasonally-oriented motifs such as trees, flowers, birds, and streams. Working exclusively with silk threads and fabric, and delicately balancing the use of space in her composition, Kusano's designs achieve the sophistication for which the best Japanese art is known.
Selected works are shown here in full color with explanatory captions, while a separate section covers the primary techniques used to create each piece. In addition, Kusano writes about how she came to be interested in embroidery and how she developed her art, and provides commentary on her themes and inspirations. She also includes an essay on the history of embroidery in Japan from the time it was introduced into the country from China in the sixth century up until the present.
Kusano's insight and fresh perspective on this unique art will inspire embroidery enthusiasts, textile collectors, and art lovers worldwide.
“The pairing of history, art, and how-to will make The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery a recommendation for not only art and needlework libraries, but for general-interest collections as well.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Lush photography of [Kusano’s] kimono, obi, and hangings depicts her mastery of the medium.”
About the Author
SHIZUKA KUSANO is one of the best-known textile artists in Japan today, regularly appearing on television and in magazines. She studied French embroidery under Takiko Moriyama and Japanese embroidery under Masaaki Niwa, and now teaches her art at several venues, including the Tokyo American Club. She has held around thirty solo exhibitions over hte past five years, and has five books published in Japan. The Fine Art of Kimono Embroidery is her first book in English.