Hiroshi Murase – Collectors’ Island

September 6, 2019 5:34 pm

Arimatsu, the capital of Shibori tie-dyeing, is a small suburb of the city of Nagoya, which is located about 200 miles southeast of Tokyo. From the early 1600’s until the early 1900’s, Shibori was the town’s most important industry, until outsourcing to South Korea and China shifted most of the business out of town. In the mid 1970’s Hiroshi Murase made it his mission to bring the industry back. “Traditionally, each family specialized in one single part of the process, be it dyeing, tying, or pattern-making. Hiroshi’s is the only company in Arimatsu that has been able to integrate the whole process into just one space.”

Each year the Genevan watchmaker Vacheron Constantin releases an art book titled Collectors’ Island, this year I photographed the entire book and this is one of ten stories included.

Many thanks to Bradley Seymour for the invaluable creative direction, and to Lara Lo Calzo for her exceptional work as Editorial Manager. Captions were written by Isabel Cadenas Cañón.

Hiroshi Murase showing the exhibition he put up at the Shibori Museum in the Arimatsu district, Nagoya, Japan.

Above and Below: Selection of cotton shibori patterns from the Hiroshi Murase collection, handcrafted with various ligature dyeing techniques.

A woman at Hiroshi Murase’s workshop transfers the stencil to the tissue.

At the entrance of his workshop, Hiroshi Murase shows one of his dearest pieces: “these are my personal encounters with the materials, my artworks.”

Some freshly dyed tissues are hung to dry at the former public bath turned into Hiroshi Murase’s workshop.

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