Weaving The Future
To Melbourne via Singapore and a major installation at Tetsuya's new Marina Bay Sands restaurant, master Shumei Kobayashi has a long association with Australia. The only artist of the 400 year-old Japanese tsutsugaki tradition who is master of the entire process from concept to final artwork, Shumei's current exhibition takes place at the spectacular new premises of Lesley Kehoe Galleries at 101 Collins St. Traditional materials and techniques weave together literally and metaphorically to create cutting edge contemporary art.
With masterclasses and lectures at a variety of national institutions since the 1980's, the most recent at the Australian Academy of Design in Melbourne (April 16-21), Shumei has made a significant contribution to art practice in Australia.
At eighteen years of age Shumei Kobayashi heard a radio broadcast about a father and daughter who specialized in cotton dyeing techniques. The man was Living National Treasure, Motohiko Katano (1889-1975), later to become Shumei's teacher and mentor. Katano espoused the idea of original thought and individual creativity as opposed to the studio system and division of labour of Japanese tradition.
Weaving their way through tradition and modernity, Shumei's bold threads connect old techniques and materials with contemporary art principles.