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Roland Ricketts, Fields of Indigo installation

Roland Ricketts, Fields of Indigo (2016), installation View at Museum of Contemporary Craft
[Asian Art Museum, Seattle WA, Apr 9-Oct 9, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland OR, Jan 29-Apr 23]

Mood Indigo: Textiles From Around the World

Asian Art Museum
Seattle WA – Apr 9-Oct 9, 2016

Roland Ricketts: Work Time

Museum of Contemporary Craft
Portland OR – Jan 29–Apr 23, 2016

Bedding cover (futonji), 19th century, Meiji period

Bedding cover (futonji), 19th century, Meiji period, 1868-1912, Japanese, cotton cloth (tsutsugaki) [Asian Art Museum, Seattle WA, Apr 9-Oct 9, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland OR, Jan 29-Apr 23] Gift of the Christensen Fund

Fireman's coat, 19th century, late Edo period

Fireman's coat, 19th century, late Edo period, 1603-1868, Japanese, cotton cloth with indigo dye (sashiko) [Asian Art Museum, Seattle WA, Apr 9-Oct 9, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland OR, Jan 29-Apr 23] Seattle Art Museum, Gift of the Christensen Fund. 2001.409

Mood Indigo is the first exhibition of textiles from the SAM collection since 1980. More than 100 pieces tell the story of how indigo dyeing has been used in different cultures throughout history. The exhibit includes a silk court robe from China, an array of Japanese kimonos, ancient fragments from Peru and Egypt and resist-dyed cloths from Africa and Indonesia

The exhibit showcases many uses for indigo-dyed textiles. A magnificent set of recently conserved Belgian tapestries will be unveiled, showing how indigo has been used to create difficult pictorial subject matter. Bedding covers (futonji) from Japan and two contemporary American quilts show a more common role for decorative textiles, while Chinese silk court embroideries show the colour blue as a symbol of leadership.

An immersive installation by American artist Rowland Ricketts at the Asian Art Museum, which includes a sound piece by Norbert Herber, adds a contemporary component to the Mood Indigo exhibit. Ricketts is also featured in the Portland exhibition Work Time. His deliberate practice features a slow, natural process that’s centuries old, instead of a more immediate, synthetic way of dying with indigo. Ricketts and his wife, Chinami Ricketts, who is a weaver, grow and process all of their own indigo using traditional Japanese methods. They harvest, dry, compost and ferment the plant to make a natural indigo vat. Through this ancient and sustainable method, they avoid the environmental impact of synthetic indigo production in the 21st century.

Allyn Cantor


 Fri, Apr 8, 2016