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Jim Thompson Art Center proudly presents  mnÄ“monikosArt of Memory in Contemporary Textiles  to be held in Bangkok, from 22 August 2013 to 22 February 2014. Curated by the renowned Japanese textiles expert, Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada, this show will feature 28 artists from Southeast Asia and beyond, whose expressive artworks relate to their memory, culture and environment and engage in dialog with materials and processes. Wada attempts to explore the contemporary textiles at the molecular level.

This exhibition will examine a wide range of artistic expression through various media, such as dyeing, painting, weaving, stitching, printing, laser etching, heat transfer and vacuum coating of metal onto fabric. In their work the artists reflect personal emotion, social and environmental awareness, cultural values, and technological innovation. What unifies them in their creative endeavor is enthusiasm for the tactile and dimensional possibilities inherent in cloth and fascination with the idea that cloth holds the memory of its use or the action performed on it. 

Cloth can be given volume. One can animate it: drape, crumple, and fold it; compress, pleat, and tuck it; stain, paint, and dye it; bunt it and cut it; tear, sew, and embellish it; appliqué, quilt and fabricate it. Cloth expands and contracts. It can record gestures, occasions, and ownership. Cloth transcends its origins from the wool of an animal, the fiber of a plant, or of alchemy on coal. The agent of transformation is the artist, who senses the life inherent in the material and actualizes it through the application of human touch, knowledge, and vision, thus revealing the memory embedded in it.

After being made or acquired, a piece of cloth soon becomes as familiar as the air we breathe. Throughout life, cloth is our second skin. Its meanings change as we move through various phases and associate ourselves with what surrounds us. Through textiles we learn our ancestral patterns of life: making twine was one of the first technologies humans achieved. Twisting fibers using S and Z twists, combining two opposing forces, we learned to fashion twine and rope that became weapons, bags, traps, nets, fastening for clothes, shoes and tents. Eventually we produced yarns and wove cloth with them. This instinctive ingenious human activity has arisen spontaneously in many different cultures and resulted in a wide range of techniques, skills and patterns that are vehicles for ethnic identities and beliefs and the means to adorn ourselves and others.

Textile objects open a window onto the daily life experience of those who created them. Each object reveals the perspectives of all those involved in its genesis and transformation. Our world today has changed dramatically from the distant past when neither money nor time was spared to create incredibly beautiful and precious textiles. In our time of amazing technological developments and an increasingly pervasive information network, contemporary artists and artisans are tapping into ancient knowledge and skills and revitalizing our shared cultural heritage — applying perseverance and innovation to create opulent, and sometimes provocative, textiles in the name of art.
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada

*mnÄ“monikos in Greek means “of memory” or “remembering.”

Participating Artists

  1. Keiko AMENOMORISCHMEISSER (Australia/Japan)
  2. Junichi ARAI (Japan)
  3. Jean CACISEDO (USA)
  4. Frank CONNET (USA)
  5. Inge DUSI (Chile)
  6. Mascha MIONI     (Switzerland)
  7. Marie-Hélène GUELTON (France)
  8. Ana Lisa HEDSTROM (USA)
  9. Wen Yin HUANG (Taiwan)
  10. Hiroshi ISHIZUKA (Japan)
  11. Kinor JIANG (Hong Kong/China)
  12. Christina KIM   (USA)
  13. Paola MORENO (Chile)
  14. Rachel MEGINNES  (USA)
  15. Joan MORRIS (USA)
  16. Kambui OLUJIMI (USA)
  17. Restu RATANANINGTYAS (Indonesia)
  18. Pietro SEMINELLI (France)
  19. Jin-Sook SO (Sweden/Korea)
  20. Misao TUSBAKI (Japan)
  21. Xu Rui (Muzi) (China)
  22. Yee I LANN (Malaysia)
  23. Guoxiang YUAN (Hong Kong/China)

      24. Korakrit ARUNANONDCHAI (Thailand)
      25. Vachiraporn LIMVIPHUVADH (Thailand)
      26. Hatairat MANEERAT (Thailand)
      27. Ataphol SUJRAPINYOKUL (Thailand)
      28. Ek THONGPRASERT (Thailand)
      29. Kris YENSUDJAI (Thailand)

Educational Program

  1. Curator and Artists Talk
    Introduction to the exhibition’s concept and presentation of all the displayed work pieces  
    Date August 22, 2013
    Time 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
    Venue William Warren Library
    Lecturer Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada and participating artists Misao Tusbaki (JAPAN), Jin Sook So (KOREA), Guoxiang YUAN (Garson) (Hong Kong/China) and  Korakrit ARUNANONDCHAI, Vachiraporn LIMVIPHUVADH, Hatairat MANEERAT, Ataphol SUJRAPINYOKUL and Kris YENSUDJAI  
  1. Remake Workshop with Vee Vavhiraporn LImviphuvadh
    Participants are invited to join an entertaining activity that will teach them how to transform and modify unwanted clothes into stylish new costumes using creative techniques.
    The activity details: To be confirmed
    Date September 14, 2013
    Time 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm
    Venue William Warren Library
    Lecturer Vachiraporn Limviphuvadh
  1. Artist’s Talk: Biometric personal (DNA Ink) on bacterial cellulose textile for nonwoven fashion
    Kris Yensudjai, a reknown designer of Ma Fa Loung Foundation, will present his Fine Arts PhD research paper on ‘Producing Fabric from Bio Cellulose‘. The Bio Cellulose sheet is made by growing bacteria in rice gruel which turns into a transparent jelly sheet that is normally used for making bandages and face masks.  Mr. Yensudjai considers that the Bio Cellulose sheet has the same quality as a fabric. The production process to make fabrics from Bio Cellulose and Nanocellulose are quite similar. The results are both durable and can be used as other textiles. He is also interested in the material’s transparent and unique color, which offers new alternatives to the fashion industry.
    The activity details: To be confirmed
    Date October 12, 2013
    Time 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Venue William Warren Library
    Lecturer Kris Yensudjai
  1. Mini Textile Symposium
    Textile symposium by curators, artists and textile specialists
    The activity details: To be confirmed
    Date November 10, 2013
    Time 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Venue William Warren Library
    Convener Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada

  2. The Art of Memory :a conversation between New York based visual artists on textiles and memory  
    Korakrit Arunanondchai and Kambui Olujimi, two young, remarkable New York based artists will hold a conversation with each other regarding their works based on memory and textiles. After the presentation they will be available for Q & A via Skype.  
    Date January 2014 (TBC)
    Time 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
    Venue William Warren Library
    Speakers  Korakrit Arunanondchai and Kambui Olujimi, facilitated by Gridthiya Gaweewong

About the guest curator:
Yoshiko Iwamoto Wada has long been an exponent of traditional and sustainable practices in fashion and textile production. She travels throughout the world giving lectures and workshops, and organizes conferences to build greater insight into the world of fiber arts. Her expertise has been sought for fabric research & development, historical and cultural accuracy and curatorial advisement. She is president of World Shibori Network and founder of Slow Fiber Studios. Her curatorial projects include  “The Kimono Inspiration: Art and Art to Wear in America,” The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.; “El Arte de Teñir con Amarras,” Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile; “Japanese Design: A Survey since the 1950s,”Philadelphia Museum of Art; several shibori and bandhani exhibitions at the National Institute of Design, India; “Shibori: Tradition and Innovation – East to West” and “Ragged Beauty: Repair and Reuse, Past and Present,” Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco.  Yoshiko was appointed an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Textile and Clothing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University since 2010. She has been a lecturer at Okinawa Prefectural University of Fine Arts, and recently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California at Berkeley. Her expertise has been sought by department stores, designers and curators. Clients include Colleen Atwood for the Hollywood film production, “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and Christina Kim for dosa, among others. She served as an advisor for Gunma Prefecture Sericulture Preservation Society and has been an advocate for 100% Japanese silk textile – a rarity in the 21st century Japan. Her publication included with Wada, Y.I. (2002). Memory on Cloth: Shibori Now, Tokyo: Kodansha International. Wada, Y.I., Rice, M. and Barton, J. (1983). Shibori: The Inventive Art of Japanese Shaped Resist Dyeing, Tokyo: Kodansha International.

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