photo: © Hiroshi Sugimoto

Curtain of Mist

ArtistFUKUMOTO Shihoko
Material/ Techniqueindigo-dye, linen, rayon code
Size/ DurationH200×W1000cm, H200×W1100cm
Copyright Notice© FUKUMOTO Shihoko
Year of acquisition/ donation2005
DescriptionBorn in Osaka, Japan in 1945. Lives and works in Kyoto.

Af ter graduating from Western-st yle painting course at Kyoto City College of Fine Art (Now Kyoto City University of Arts), Fukumoto was involved in an academic research into the ethnic art of Papua New Guinea, and became interested in Japanese traditional art. On returning to Japan, she worked at the Tatsumura Textile Co., Research Institute and was introduced to indigo dyeing. She taught herself about indigo, and through practicing the dyeing processes, she gradually discovered her own course. She mainly uses indigo tie-dye technique, and usually keeps the design in simple gradation. Fukumoto has created numerous space and artworks that are closely related to Japanese Noh Theater and the tea ceremony, for example.

This work consists of two curtains, 2m high and 10m long each. After dyeing the cloth in gradation with a brush, she added the texture like trembling waves on the cloth by moving the horizontal threads with a needle. The work expresses shadows of mountains appearing through lingering mist. Because of the special qualities of the curtains and its abstract design with wavering gradations of indigo, the work goes beyond simple expression of natural landscape and holds depth in time and expanse as well as spirituality. This work was shown in relation to “The Art House Project” on Naoshima Island, Kagawa Prefecture in 2002, organized by Benesse Corporation, and was used as an actual curtain during a performance of the Noh play Yashima, dedicated to Go’o Shrine, in which photographer SUGIMOTO Hiroshi was involved.