Decor on Open Ground: Katagami
Japanese Colour Stencils




16. July 2011 - 28. August 2011

The exhibition presents about 40 examples of the period of prosperity of katagami.
Katagami, Japanese stencils from mulberry tree paper, served for dying kimonos, curtains or banners. They offer a unique insight into the Japanese world of décor. In the second half of the 19th Century the Europeans discovered the exceptional sensitivity for style in Japanese stencils, based on the stylisation of natural form and the positive-/negative- treatment of the motif. The craft tool turned into an object of aesthetic appraisal. Katagami exuded a great influence on European artists and craftsmen. The detailed pointillist motifs towards the second half of the 19th Century became increasingly plane and dynamic compositions. While the Samurai wore rather austere, geometric designs, city dwellers favoured inventtive and amusing motifs found in nature or everyday life. The exhibition will present ca. 40 examples from the zenith of katagami, the late Edo- and Meiji-periods in the late 18th and 19th Centuries.

Photo: Katagami, Whirl with Plum Tree Blossom

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