2012年11月1日木曜日

Warehouse Installation Images - Part 2: The Finished Installation

The Bandai Warehouse installation opened on October 20th and runs through December 16th.  Here are some images from the finished installation.

A view from the front door the night before the entrance wall went up.

The title wall at the installation's entrance.  On the left the names of all the indigo dyers who participated in the project.

Inside the warehouse with actual lighting.

The installation with natural light from the side door.

Backlight indigo cloths.  The cloths were arranged to both emphasize their individual colors and create a sense of the unity of color that binds the farmers, processors, and dyers together in the tradition of Awa Indigo.

The indigo cloths in the natural light by the entrance.  The 247 lengths of cloth used in the project were dyed by 44 professional indigo dyers from throughout Japan.  All of the dyers use the indigo grown and processed in Tokushima.

The list of dyers on the installation's title wall.  The numbers on the list correspond to the numbers recorded on the badges.  People who made badges at any of the six Returning Indigo sites can learn just who dyed the cloth they selected for their badge.

A peak from above all of the indigo cloths!  This is what we saw as we were installing.

Title Wall: Project directed by Rowland Ricketts
Sound by Norbert Herber
One last view from outside the installation with waxing moon. 



Just too funny...

Sudachi-kun (the green-headed fellow) is Tokushima's mascot and is based on the key-lime-like citrus fruit that the region is famous for.

For the weeks leading up to the opening of the Warehouse Installation, the main display case at the Tokushima Capitol building contained this group of Sudachi-kuns making indigo badges!


Check out the details that went into this!  The one on the right is cutting out the circles, while the one on the left is pressing badges.  In the middle they're marking them with the number of the dyer who dyed the cloth, and on the bookshelf in the background there are the first two cards from the project!


Warehouse Installation Images - Part 1: Installing

Many thanks to everyone who helped out with installing the second part of the I am Ai, We are Ai Project!  Thanks to all of you it turned out beautifully!

The Bandai Warehouse before installation started.

A wire grid was stretched across the space and s-hooks were added to suspend the cloth.

The cloth was arranged to create an even distribution of color so that each color could be appreciated on its own while also creating a cohesive whole to reflect the individuals who comprise the tradition of Awa Indigo.

Strings were measured and stitched to each corner to suspend the cloths from the wire grid.  The installation was truly a group effort and never would have happened without the help of many volunteers including this group of students from Shikoku University.
Once the strings were attached, the cloth was hung from the wire grid.

Again, many thanks to everyone who helped with the installation!  Shikoku University students helping to hang the cloth panels from the wire grid.

Speakers arriving for Norbert Herber's sound work.

Norbert Herber starting to set up and test the sound work he developed for the installation.

Abe-san showing us some of the indigo he grew and dried for the installation.  This is the indigo from the sound stream field in Kamikatsu, Japan.


A few of the many people who helped with the installation!





2012年10月11日木曜日

The Fourth of Four Announcement Card


On the front of the fourth Returning Indigo announcement card is the edge of a giant stack of the cloth that will be hanging in the Warehouse Installation.  This is the same cloth that people have been making badges with and is what bridges the first and second parts of the I am Ai, We are Ai project.  Because the final Returning Indigo event was cancelled due to a typhoon, we'll be setting things up one last time as part of the warehouse installation opening on 10/20. 




Working on the Warehouse Installation

With a little over a week remaining before the opening, the cloth is being laid out and arranged for hanging.


2012年9月30日日曜日

9/30 Returning Indigo event at Awa-gin Hall Postponed

The typhoon hitting Tokushima has caused us to postpone today's event.  

The final Returning Indigo event will be held on 10/20 in conjunction with the opening of the Warehouse Installation!

2012年9月20日木曜日

The Third of Four Announcement Cards


The third announcement card features the Returning Indigo cloth and the holes that remain as visitors select their favorite shade of blue, cut it out and make a badge with it to wear.  The straw mats under the cloth are old mats that have been used in the composting of indigo and were donated by one of the five indigo processors in Tokushima.  

At the 2012 National Cultural Festival Opening, Bunka-no-Mori Park

The 2012 National Cultural Festival officially opened on September 1 in a ceremony at Bunka-no-Mori Park in Tokushima.  Traveling Indigo made its fourth appearance there and over 700 badges were made that afternoon!



2012年9月7日金曜日

Yoshida House, Wakimachi

Returning Indigo visitied Wakimachi's Yoshida House on August 18th & 19th.  

Returning Indigo in the central courtyard of the Yoshida House in Wakimachi, Tokushima

The Yoshino River created the fertile plane that still sustains the multitude of farms in Tokushima.  Many towns along the Yoshino River thrived not only because of the indigo farming, but also because of the ease of transport afforded by the river.  Wakimachi is the western-most of those communities, and the impressive scale of the homes and buildings in the Udatsu Townscape are evidence of the wealth that indigo brought. 

The white storehouses in the background were used both to store indigo and to house workers.  The Yoshida family traded indigo and would keep the indigo here before shipping it out throughout the country.  

The historical Yoshida House is typical of many indigo traders' homes with its indigo storehouses and easy access out the back to the inlets on which the indigo would be carried by boat to the Yoshino River an eventually throughout Japan.

A peek at the Returning Indigo installation through the back gate at the Yoshida House in Wakimachi.  Just outside this gate is where the indigo was once loaded onto boats for shipping.  All of the indigo from the Yoshida's would have come down these stairs and through this gate enroute to dyers around Japan.

To fit the installation into the garden it was divided in half and overlapped to create an pathway for visitors.


The Yoshida House in Wakimachi is the third of six stops planned for the Returning Indigo portion of the project.  The number of holes increases with each appearance, marking the number of visitors and the small bit of the project, of Awa Indigo that they're taking home with them.



2012年8月17日金曜日

The Second of Four Announcement Cards




Here's the second card from the I am Ai, We are Ai Project.  On the front are the narrow lengths of cloth cut from the larger cloths dyed by dyers throughout Japan.  They are crowned by dried indigo plants, just as they are in the Returning Indigo portion of the project.  On the back is the same stalk of Polygonum tinctorium from the first card as it begins to dry.




2012年8月15日水曜日

Tokushima Castle's Eagle Gate Plaza - August 12-13

The second of the Returning Indigo events took place on August 12-13 at the Tokushima Castle's Eagle Gate Plaza in downtown Tokushima.  The castle was the home of the Hachizuka family who, as feudal lords of the region in the Edo Period, invested heavily in the research and development of indigo in Tokushima.  Awa Indigo continues today because of their efforts over 400 years ago.

A view through the Eagle Gate or Washi-no-Mon in Japanese.


The arc of the cloths points to the hilltop where the castle once stood.

Visitors seen through the Eagle Gate.

A visitor selecting cloth to make a pin.  The indigo plants are hung to cover the cloth so that people touch the source of the color when handling the cloth.


More holes in the cloth mark the visitors and the pins they've taken with them.



There are more pictures taken by Hanga Yoshihara Horvath here.