24 October 2017 until 5 August 2018
Nature as image and design
Japanese dyeing stencils – katagami

Katagami, literally "pattern papers", are stencils for dyeing fabrics made of silk, linen or cotton for both men's and women's garments. When Europeans discovered the unique quality of these dyeing stencils with the opening up of Japan in the 19th century, what had been an everyday utensil became an art object. The designs are based on the ingenious simplification and stylization of natural forms and a positive-negative treatment of the motifs. The exhibition focused on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period when large-format, dynamically sweeping designs were in vogue. This reflected the taste of the city-dwellers for unusual and humorous motifs. The exhibition has been divided into three thematic areas: water worlds, flying objects and plants. These were complemented by three dimensional objects of bronze and ceramics.