Speaker Series: Washi Textile Prints: Art of Imperfection (Wabi Sabi)

Talk by Yuko Kimura
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities

Friday, November 4, 2022

Time: 1:00pm
Cost: FREE (with paid museum admission)
Tickets are available the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited seating available
Location: Morikami Theater

Yuko Kimura is a Japanese papermaker and print artist who celebrates imperfection in her work. She prints etchings onto handmade washi paper and onto antique Japanese book pages riddled with wormholes and stitches them together to form large collages. In this presentation, Yuko will introduce the beautifully imperfect old papers and textiles that have inspired her as an artist, particularly 19th-century indigo-dyed cotton Boro textiles that are repaired with patching and stitching. Her grandmother sewed for her family recycling old remnants of kimono fabrics. She will share memories of these found and collected materials and explain how she incorporates them into her printmaking process.


Yuko Kimura was born in Oakland, California, and spent her childhood in Japan. Returning to the US in 1989, she received a BFA in printmaking from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA in printmaking from the University of Michigan. For the last two decades, her printmaking has incorporated multiple processes, including etching, aquatint, and dyeing with indigo on pleated or twisted paper—mostly worm-eaten pages from old printed books or handmade washi papers made from kozo, gampi, and abaca fibers. She also incorporates worn fragments of cloth obtained from her grandmother in Japan, which she combines with newly-made sheets of paper and linen to form delicate, multilayered surfaces. Although Kimura’s use of aged paper and cloth can evoke a nostalgic, antique quality, her innovative printmaking practices focus intuitively in the present. For Kimura, transparency, form, and texture all take priority as she constructs her two- and three-dimensional patchwork experiments. 
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