I have had the most wonderful time in Cambridge. If you have the opportunity to go to the World Exhibition between now and 18 November, don’t miss it. The exhibition includes some of the best embroidery I have ever seen.
There are several kimonos and obi exhibited. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted but you can see two of the obi on display here and here. There is a wonderful series of embroideries of Japanese flowers. These are done rather like a botanical study and the flowers are very realistic.
A group of embroiderers from the UK have reproduced a fan screen consisting of five heavily embroidered panels, and extraordinary undertaking. In addition to these, all the Phase pieces and many of the practice pieces, stitched by students from Europe and the USA are included.
The highlights of the exhibition are the Kombuin Fukusa and the Hoitsu Scroll stitched by the professional embroiderers at Kurenai-kai in Japan. My favourite is the Scroll, which is in fact four scrolls, a faithful reproduction in silk embroidery of Hoitsu’s painted scrolls depicting the birds and flowers of the four seasons. The exquisite design must be credited to the artist, but the sublime embroidery adds another dimension to an already beautiful work of art. It is magnificent.
On Saturday evening I attended a get together meal for approximately 100 students, professional embroiderers and staff of JEC and Kurenai-kai. The Japanese ladies wore kimono and obi, so I have a few pictures of some of the embroidery I have been enjoying for the past few days. The pictures far from do justice to the workmanship of the embroiderers.
These elegant designs are worn by married ladies; only by a young, unmarried girl can wear a flamboyant obi like the one below.